Dutch Resistance

In the beginning it was just filling in envelopes with illegal newspapers. Then I was asked to do real good jobs. I had to take [a suitcase] to 5 different towns and give it to the person there who then would distribute it. It was quite late in the afternoon. By 8 o’clock you had to be in so I couldn’t manage to go all the way to the south of Holland. I went out in Leiden & there was a terrible- I went on to the platform & there was control. German officers & Dutch policemen standing there. I didn’t know what to do. I just went to exit. I had to get out. I went to the exit with my big suitcase. A German said, “What’s this? - Was ist das?” I said, “Papers.” He said, “Machen sie öffenen.” So I tried to open it. But the locks were quite difficult to do for me. I didn’t know how to do it exactly. It took quite a while. At last I opened it. Inside was what I had not seen before, 5 parcels in brown packing paper with just 1 letter on the top of the town where I had to bring it. I thought well, that’s my-that’s my-I’ll be gone, you know. But the German said “Right, off.” So I got to go through. When I came out of that station I was so nervous! I stood there trembling for a while before I could go on. Then I went home & told the story. The next morning I took the case back to the towns where they needed to go. So this was my first job.

"One evening I listened to the story of Shushu [Joachim Simon], one of the Westerweel Group, who had jumped out of the prison window to his death because he rather did that than under torture giving names away. I thought this was fantastic. So I said “Can I help?”

In the end he got shot – didn’t survive. He was a non-Jewish student. There were lots of good people – young people – who were willing to help. It was like a network, an underground network they had."