Appearances and disappearances

“The courage of the Resisters was extraordinary. One day in January [1945], a Jewish mother and her two sons, desperate for food, went foraging from the house in Zeist where they had lived in precarious obscurity. They were detained by Germans who thought they appeared Jewish, and locked up in the local police station along with seven other Jews, until the SS could remove them. The father of the family sought the aid of the Resistance. Local fighters decided that a rescue attempt could be made, but that it must be carried out by men unknown by sight to the local police. A former policeman named Henry Idenburg enlisted the aid, willing or otherwise, of a Luftwaffe deserter whom the Resistance was hiding. A local garage owner agreed to turn a blind eye while a German truck he was repairing was ‘borrowed’ for an hour. On 23 January, the Luftwaffe corporal in his uniform accompanied Idenburg, in his old Dutch police uniform, to Zeist police station. They produced a forged demand for the prisoners, who were duly handed over and herded out to the truck amid appropriate shouts and abuse. When the truck halted in a forest near Driebergen, the traumatized Jewish prisoners were convinced that they were to be executed. Instead, they found themselves taken into hiding in a church until they could be removed to safe houses. They survived.” – Max Hastings, Armageddon

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