Airmen Helper Questionnaires

Following the Liberation of the German-occupied countries, the Allied Military Intelligence Service urged all persons who had assisted Allied airmen in any way to provide information on the men they helped, even publishing notices in the newspapers to this effect.   In The Netherlands, this took the form of a Vragenlijst, or Questionnaire, which provided basic personal data on the helper, his or her Resistance organization connections, the names and dates of airmen the person helped, and the names of other persons the helper  knew who also helped airmen.  For anyone researching the WWII escape lines, this information is invaluable. Typically, the Vragenlijst will be found in each Dutch helper file at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.  (Questionnaires for Belgians are likely to be in English.)

The two following pages provide:

1. A sample Vragenlijst for Cornelis van Laanan of Dinther.  I selected it because he was quite active and the form was more readable than most.  The typical first page provides basic information on the helper and the names of his contacts.  There may also be a narrative account of the helper’s activities.  The second page lists airmen helped and sometimes identifies from whom they were received and to whom they were passed.  From that you can begin to construct a line of helpers, linking them one-by-one.

2. A translation of the Dutch words used in the Vragenlijst.  Although the English equivalent of most of the words is clear enough from the context, a translation might be helpful in some cases.

2 responses to “Airmen Helper Questionnaires

  1. Questionnaire Query
    Your website is very interesting and has already help in my search for a relative !
    Her name is Elizabeth Mary Collins( nee Saunders ). She is listed on the French Helpers list at Rue Chateaubriand, Paris and is proposed to be awarded the Kings Commendation for Bravery. The London Gazette notes that she received this and previously the French Red Cross Medal.
    Lately I have found out that she worked in the Beaujon Hospital, Clichy. This would support news articles I have which mention that she assisted allied prisoners during the occupation.
    You mentioned that the Allied Helper Questionnaires are stored in the US national archives.
    They could offer the best hope of information regarding my relative – is there any way to access those records from a distance ?? – I’m based in London.

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