Personal narratives by people of their experiences during World War II will appear on pages subordinate to this one. To connect to the narrative, click on the link of the person’s name.
1. “A Young Boy and the “Good” War,” by Edouard Renière.
2. “Life in the Dutch Underground; A Deadly Game of Hide and Seek,” transcribed by Tony Welch.
3. “The ‘Delights’ of German Occupation,” by Louis van den Brand
Of particular interest will be BBC’s collection of 47,000 war stories at People’s War, an archive of World War Two memories, written by the public and gathered by the BBC. It is organized by subject. See: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/categories/.
Daniel van Alderwerelt’s Recollections 1929-1952, describe in detail his experiences as a boy in The Netherlands during WWII. Mr. Van Alderwerelt lives in Grass Valley, California.
The KL-Natzweiler Museum at Struthof, France, near Strasbourg, has a remarkable collection of testimonies from people who joined the Resistance and their subsequent experiences. It is organized by the following topics:
- Joining the Resistance
- The organization of the Resistance
- The various forms of action
- Letters from deportees who were shot by firing squad
- The discovery of the camps
For the story of Nico Hamme, “A Dutchman Hiding in Belgium,” go to http://www.dossier-bassines.nl/html/en_home.htm for the home page and for the story itself, go to http://www.dossier-bassines.nl/html/en_story.htm.
The memoirs of John K. “Jack” Justice, “The Raid on Munster, Germany, Oct. 10, 1943: My Escape from German Occupied Europe” are to be found at: https://100thbg.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=275:munster-raid-by-john-justice&catid=25&Itemid=581.
For a detailed escape story, visit http://www.airmen.dk/pdfs/v999022arte.pdf. It describes the experience of Rowland Williams, RAF, shot down over Denmark, who escaped to neutral Sweden. (For further information, see http://www.airmen.dk/v999002.htm.)
Frank Dell, pilot of a De Havilland Mosquito, in October 1944 was shot down over Germany, survived, and walked to The Netherlands where he joined the Dutch Resistance. For a one-hour interview with him by Richard Fidler of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, go to http://www.abc.net.au/local/stories/2014/11/27/4137268.htm. Dell’s book, Mosquito Down, was published in 2014.
Robert Beckers wrote his memoirs in French of his experiences in the Resistance in Belgium; his arrest, imprisonment and torture; and what happened on the Nazi Ghost Train (or Phantom Train). To read them, click Memoirs of Robert Beckers – souvenirs résistant – including Ghost Train with photo. To read an English translation of part of his memoirs, click here and follow the link.
A valuable collection of escape stories in Italy is to be found at the Monte San Martino Trust. To access them, click here.
Yad Vashem’s Stories of the Righteous Among Nations: http://www.yadvashem.org/yv/en/righteous/stories/
The Air Forces Escape and Evasion Society (AFEES) newsletter, Communications, carries escape and evasion stories in every issue. On its website there is a page which has back issues of the newsletter. On another page of the website, Paul E. Kenney, My Story, you will find Lt. Kenney’s memoirs of his WWII experiences. Another possible useful source is the Combat Aircrews’ Preservation Society. For its link, click here.
The 384th Bomb Group has a good many interviews of WWII experiences of its members. Click here to view them.
For links to additional personal narratives, go to the page on this website with those links.