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  • Article by Frans van den Muijsenberg
  • Published on February 28th, 2014

Asscher, Abraham

Abraham Asscher was born in Amsterdam on 19th September 1880. His father and uncle worked in the diamond trade and founded a company together, the Diamantmaatschappij. Later, Abraham Asscher became the director of the company and its only shareholder. Under his leadership, the business gained a worldwide reputation. The absolute pinnacle of Asscher’s diamond factory would surely have been the cutting of the Cullinan diamond, the largest diamond ever discovered.

  • Article by Jochem Botman
  • Published on August 18th, 2019

Cate Brouwer, Helene Louise ten

Uit het Leidsch Dagblad van 13 september 2003: "Ze was beeldschoon, slim en sportief. Ze kon schieten, saboteren en spioneren. Als een Leidse Hannie Schaft stortte ze zich in het verzet, werd gepakt en ter dood veroordeeld. Maar dan neemt haar leven een bizarre wending. Ze stelt haar kwaliteiten ter beschikking aan de Sicherheitsdienst."

  • Article by Frans van den Muijsenberg
  • Published on February 28th, 2014

Cohen, David

David Cohen was born on 31st December 1882 in Deventer as the oldest son of salesman, estate agent and surveyor Hartog (Herman) Cohen and Rebecca van Essen. Later, three brothers and one sister would join the family. He attended primary school, Jewish school and high school in his place of birth and then studied classical languages in Leipzig, Göttingen and Leiden. His greatest interests lay in egyptology, papyrology and Jewish history. After 1910, he combined his studies with a teaching job at the Nederlands Lyceum in The Hague. In 1912, he earned his doctorate degree in Leiden cum laude, which he wrote about Jewish history during the Hellenistic period. In 1922, he became a privatdozent at the University of Leiden and two years later he became a visiting professor of the history of the Hellenistic period. In 1926, he became the Professor of Ancient History and the Greek and Roman Antiquities at the University of Amsterdam, a position he held until 1953.

  • Article by David Izelaar
  • Published on October 21st, 2012

Folmer, Joke

Allied pilots shot down over the Netherlands and captured by the resistance, Dutch resistance fighters who were no longer able to stay in our country and allied soldiers who escaped from German camps, were taken across the Belgian border through so-called escape lines. This was extremely risky resistance work because death penalty was the punishment for helping allied soldiers. Yet there were Dutch men and women who were committed to this cause.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on February 25th, 2011

Frank, Anne

Anne Frank kept her diary from June 12th, 1942 until August 1st, 1944. From the 6th of July 1942 on, she and her family went into hiding in a backroom of her father’s office on the Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam. They had to go into hiding for the German occupying powers, that deported Jewish inhabitants of the Netherlands to German extermination camps in Poland from the summer of 1942 on.

  • Article by Wesley Dankers
  • Published on May 12th, 2019

Hall, Walraven van

Walraven van Hall was one of the greatest of the Dutch resistance fighters during the Second World War. He was able to create a financial construction through inventiveness, quirkiness and help from others, with which he made a great contribution to Dutch illegality. The National Support Fund (NSF) he founded during the war was responsible for the financial care of thousands of people affected by the German occupation. The fund also supported numerous other resistance activities.

  • Article by David Izelaar
  • Published on March 9th, 2014

Krap, Charles Douw van der

After the capitulation of the Netherlands, the Dutch officers had to sign a declaration of honor. With this declaration they indicated that they would take no action against the occupier. Most officers signed this declaration, often with the idea that they didn’t have to keep their word to the occupier. A dozen officers did not sign the declaration, as a result they spent the rest of the war in POW camps. Only some of them managed to escape and reach liberated areas. Charles Louis Jean Francois Douw van der Krap was one of them.

  • Article by Wesley Dankers
  • Published on October 1st, 2012

Kuipers-Rietberg, Helena

During the war only few Dutch people opted for an active resistance against the German oppression. Most people tried to continue the life they led before the war and hoped for the best. However, there were people who really resisted the German occupation. They risked their own lives to save the lives of others. One of the greatest Dutch resistance fighters is Helena Kuipers-Rietberg. This very religious housewife from Winterswijk was one of the driving forces behind the establishment of the LO, the national organization for people in hiding. Under the pseudonym "tante Riek" (aunt Riek), she took care of the many thousands of people in hiding in our country. Because of this, she was called "the mother of all Dutch in hiding".

  • Article by Hans Molier
  • Published on October 27th, 2012

Lippe-Biesterfeld, Prince Bernard zur

In the evening of December 1st, 2004, Bernhard, Prince of the Netherlands, Prince of Lippe-Biesterfeld, passed away at the age of 93. Prince Bernhard married on January 7th, 1937, to Princess Juliana, later Queen of The Netherlands. During the Second World War Prince Bernhard rendered outstanding service to the Dutch case. After being transferred to England on May 12th,1940, he began to organize the Dutch refugees, who already escaped . He made sure that a Dutch RAF unit was established in 1942 and it was also the cradle of the "Regiment Stoottroepen" (a commando force). He was also closely involved in the "Princess Irene Brigade" and he was present at the surrender negotiations with the Germans, in the rank of commander of the Dutch armed and resistance forces.

  • Article by Annabel Junge
  • Published on May 7th, 2018

Lowens, Curt

On May 11 1940 Curt would board the ship SS Veendam in Rotterdam, together with his parents and older brother Heinz, to start a new life in the United States. However, fate decided otherwise. On May 10 the Germans invaded the Netherlands and the Dutch police immediately started to arrest German Jews who had fled to the Netherlands. Among them was the Löwenstein family. A life in freedom seemed to remain an illusion for good.

  • Article by Samuel de Korte
  • Published on December 24th, 2018

Maduro, George

George Maduro was a Dutch student who, serving as a reserve-officer with the Hussars during the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, distinguished himself by retaking villa Dorrepaal in Leidschendam. This prevented the German paratroopers from taking The Hague from that side. After the Dutch capitulation he joined the resistance. When he attempted to escape to Spain, he was betrayed and ultimately ended up in concentration camp Dachau, where he died from typhoid on February 8th 1945. He was posthumously awarded the Militaire Willems Orde 4th class for his exceptional achievement during the German invasion of the Netherlands in 1940.

  • Article by Wilco Vermeer
  • Published on September 16th, 2012

Mussert, Anton

The young Mussert Anton Adriaan Mussert was born on 11th May 1894 in Werkendam of the marriage between headteacher Johannes Leonardus Mussert and his wife Frederika Witlam. Anton was the fourth child in the Mussert family. Eventually, five children would grow up in the Mussert household: sons Jo, Max and Anton and daughters Leni and Coby. Through his profession as a headteacher, Johannes Mussert and his family belonged to the elite of their village. Johannes Mussert was a man of distinction who had two sides to his personality. For the outside world he seemed to be an endearing man who was always there to help children who had trouble learning. Within his family he showed a completely different side and would not shy away from using corporal punishment to establish his authority. He did, however, pay sufficient attention to his family. His wife Frederika was rather a different sort of person. She was a snob who exploited her privileged position. These opposing personalities led the marriage into heated arguments which were fought in public and sometimes even in the classroom.

  • Article by Jochem Botman
  • Published on February 3rd, 2013

Olij, Jan

Jan Olij lived in Argentina in the vicinity of Buenos Aires until his death in 1996. In July 1949 he was convicted in absentia to 20 years of imprisonment by the special court in Amsterdam. His crimes were burning a farm in Barneveld, arresting and handing over Rotterdam people to the Nazis and membership of the SS, which he had joined in 1940.

  • Article by Jochem Botman
  • Published on August 7th, 2012

Riphagen, Dries

Dries Riphagen was wanted in connection with the arrests of Jewish people in hiding and the deaths of at least 200 people. The prosecutor, Paul Brilman, considered Riphagen to be one of the worst examples of Dutch collaboration with the German occupier.

  • Article by Hans Molier
  • Published on May 22nd, 2013

Schaft, Hannie

Jannetje Johanna Schaft was born on September 16th 1920 in Haarlem. She was the second daughter of Pieter Schaft and Aafje Talea Vrijer. Her elder sister Annie, who was born in 1915, died from diphtheria in 1927. Jo, as she was called, had a normal upbringing in a small socialist family. Her father was a teacher at an elementary school and was a member of the board of the socialistically inclined Federation of Dutch Teachers.

  • Article by Frank Meijerink
  • Published on December 18th, 2012

Seyffardt, Hendrik

Hendrik Alexander Seyffardt was born in Breda on the 1st of November, 1872, as son of Louis William Seyffardt August, later Minister of War in the Van Tienhoven Government (1891-1894), and Catharina Louisa de Hollander. August Seyffardt was an officer in the Dutch army and during his ministry he steered a left-liberal course in which he pleaded for general training duty and a citizen army. His ideas were never realized, due to his poor relationship with Queen-Regent Emma.

  • Article by Kevin Prenger
  • Published on October 13th, 2012

Süskind, Walter

Walter Süskind was one of the employees of the Jewish Council. True, he had an important role at the organization of deportations, but at the same time he saved the lives of hundreds of people, of which mostly children. He did this without consent or without knowledge of the management of the Jewish Council and at the risk of his own life. During the war, many Jews saw him as a traitor, but behind the mask of the pretended collaborator was in reality hiding a hero.

  • Article by Arno Verheij
  • Published on September 18th, 2012

Waals, Anton van der

Anton van der Waals was one of the Netherlands’ most infamous collaborators. As a V-Mann (intermediary agent) of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst, intelligence agency) he infiltrated various resistance groups from 1941 onwards. He indirectly played a role in the Englandspiel, a large-scale operation of the German contra-intelligence (Abwehr) with the aim of misleading the enemy. Although there were already doubts in 1941 among resistance groups over Van der Waals’ trustworthiness, he was able to continue on his destructive path through the resistance. While pretending to be a British agent, he was able to build the trust of unsuspecting resistance members and even certain prominent leaders.

  • Article by Hans Molier
  • Published on December 15th, 2012

Winkelman, Henri

Henri Winkelman was born on August 17th, 1876 in Maastricht. He was a son of Julius Hendrik Winkelman, inspector of registration of Crown Properties, and Charlotte Henriëtte Braams. After his education at the HBS (Higher Trade-Business School) he went to the KMA, the Royal Military Academy, at Breda. He wanted to become an officer in the KNIL, the Royal Netherlands Indies Army. During his time at the KMA he changed his plan and he was placed in the infantry as a cadet in the rank of corporal.