I have recently learned that my great-grandfather was a big part of the resistance in Arnhem, Holland. I’d like to learn more about the resistance. Anybody know anything? Links?
Well, the only famous film I can think of about the Dutch resistance was “Soldier of Orange.” It came out in the late 1970s, and was directed by a (then) little-known guy named Paul Verhoeven. It starred Rutger Hauer, before he started making nothing but direct-to-video and 3-in-the-morning-on-HBO movies in the United States.
Books in English:
Doctor of the Heart, by Conrad W. Baars. 1996.
Give Terry a Bone: Our Secret Code: A True Story of Nazi Occupied Holland, by Babes van Dillen Clinton. 1986.
Evader: An American Airman’s Eight Months With the Dutch Underground, by Harry A. Dolph (Harry A. Clark). 1991.
Inside North Pole: A Secret Agent’s Story, by Pieter Dourlein. 1989.
Requiem for the Resistance: The Civilian Struggle Against Nazism in Holland and Germany, by Herman Friedhoff. 1988.
London Calling North Pole, by H.J. Giskes. 1990.
I Was a Stranger, by John Winthrop Hackett. 1978.
Mona Parsons: From Privilege to Prison, From Nova Scotia to Nazi Europe, by Andria Hill. 2000.
Netherlands and Nazi Germany, by Louis de Jong. 1990.
Silent War: Glimpses of the Dutch Underground and Views on the Battle of Arnhem, by Allard Martens with Daphne Dunlop. 1961.
Gaston’s War: A True Story of a Hero of the Resistance in World War II, by Allan Mayer. 1988.
Surgeon at Arms, by Daniel Paul with John St. John. 1959.
Playboy Crew, 1944-1945 : 8th Air Force, 2nd Air Division, 96th Combat Wings 466th Bombardment Group, 784th Bombardment Squadron … : Memoirs of World War II, by Robert Felton Pipes et al. 1989.
Long Return, by Bob Porter. 1998.
Only a Free Man: War Memories of Two Dutch Doctors (1940-1945), by Peter Voute; with the journals of Henry Rynders. 1982.
Travel by Dark: After Arnhem, by Graeme Warrack. 1963.
Relations Between the Netherlands Government-in-Exile and Occupied Holland During World War II, by John H. Woodruff. 1964.
There are many more books available in Dutch.
Are you looking for novels or non-fiction? I know of one novel, “The Assault”. I forget the author, but he is Dutch. The protagonist has his family killed by the Germans in retaliation for Resistance activities, and the novel follows his life as he encounters people involved in the events that led to his family’s deaths.
I just looked it up, and the author is Harry Mulisch. A search on Amazon for “Dutch Resistance” turned up these two books:
Requiem for the Resistance: The Civilian Struggle Against Nazism in Holland and Germany, by Herman Friedhoff
Gaston’s War: A True Story of a Hero of the Resistance in World War II , by Allan Mayer
I’d like to find as much non-fiction as possible, however fictional accounts might help me understand much better. I’d just like to know more about it.
Mulisch’ The Assault is a recommended read. Although the part about WW II is just part of the book, it gives a good portrayal of the effect it has had on a whole generation (not mine BTW, I’m from long after WW II). Mulish is one of the foremost literary authors.
In the past decades a lot of movies have been made about WW II and the resistance, unfortunately for you most were Dutch and I’m not sure how much are available elsewhere.
Soldier of Orange is a good movie to see, although a bit too much on the adventurer side if you ask me. You won’t be bored, however, and it does not shrink from the more horrendous sides of the war.
A quick check on IMDB yields the following.
- Pastorale 1943 to a book by Vestdijk, another well-known Dutch literary author. For authenticity I would prefer this to Soldier of Orange.
- The Assault, the movie after the book.
- The girl with the red hair , about an actual resistance leader.
IMDB also mentions a couple I haven’t seen myself, but as far as I know give a sufficiently accurate portrayal. In particular
The Ice-Cream Parlor.
A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan is a very good book about Operation Market Garden (the ill fated Allied airbourne assault on Arnhem)… not a whole lot about the actual resistance, but there are a couple of first hand accounts.
This probably isn’t at all the answer you’re looking for, but the HBO miniseries Band of Brothers, now available on DVD (all 10 hours of it), has a section concerning the liberation of Holland, with a reasonably sized character from the resistance, which I found to be incredibly well done.
In fact, the whole darn series is amazing. Everyone should go watch it.
does anyone have any good web links about the air raid on Arnhem?
Combat Chronology of the U.S. Army Air Forces
European Theater of Operations
Tuesday, 22 February 1944
STRATEGIC OPERATIONS (Eighth Air Force): 177 B-24s are dispatched but they are recalled when 100 miles (160 km) inland; since they were over Germany, they sought targets of opportunity but strong winds drove the bombers over The Netherlands and their bombs hit Enschede, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Deventer; they claim 2-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 3 B-24s are lost and 3 damaged; casualties are 30 MIA.
These missions are escorted by 67 P-38s, 535 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s, and 57 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; the P-38s claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft, 1 P-38 is damaged beyond repair and 6 are damaged; the P-47s claim 39-6-15 Luftwaffe aircraft, 8 P-47s are lost and 12 damaged, 8 pilots are MIA; the P-51s claim 19-1-10 Luftwaffe aircraft, 3 P-51s are lost and 3 damaged, 3 pilot are MIA.
Tuesday, 3 October 1944
TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): 220+ B-26s and A-20s sent to bomb targets at Durena and Aldenhoven, Germany, and Arnhem, the Netherlands are recalled because of weather; fighters fly armed reconnaissance over W Germany, hit railroads W of the Rhine River, and support the US Third Army in the Metz, France area.
Thursday, 5 October 1944
TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): 330+ B-26s and A-20s dispatched against targets in Arnhem, the Netherlands and Aldenhoven and Duren, Germany are recalled; fighters hit pillboxes along the Westwall, support ground forces of the XV Corps in France, fly armed reconnaissance in the Prum, Bonn, Koblenz, Trier and Landau, Germany areas, hit targets along the Rhine-Marne Canal, and during the night of 5/6 Oct fly patrol in Belgium, E France, and W Germany.
Friday, 6 October 1944
TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): 300+ B-26s and A-20s hit marshalling yards, barracks, and ammunition dump at Hengelo, the Netherlands and Duren, Germany and bridges at Arnhem, the Netherlands and Aldenhoven, Germany.
Saturday, 7 October 1944
TACTICAL OPERATIONS (Ninth Air Force): HQ Ninth AF cancels previous instructions against bombing bridges and opens to attack all bridges on the US front, except those over the Rhine River. 300+ B-26s and A-20s strike bridges at Arnhem, the Netherlands and in Germany, bridges at Bullay and Dillingen, a supply depot at Euskirchen, and marshalling yard and warehouse at Hengelo and Trier; fighters fly bomber escort, sweeps and armed reconnaissance in the forward areas, hitting railroads, barges, and troop concentrations, and support ground forces in E France and W Germany.
There’s also Children of the Resistance by Lore Cowan. It’s a small collection of stories about children and teenagers who were in the resistance movements in different countries, including one teenage girl in Berlin. Out of print now, but Amazon has it available used. I believe the stories are supposed to be true, but it’s been years since I’ve read the book.
if you are looking primarily for non-fiction, you should realize that Soldier of Orange is actually an autobiographical book. The movie is a bit romantiziced, but in essence the facts are true.
The girl with the red hair is, as I said, based on the life of an actual resistance leader.
A Bridge too far was also made into a good movie, although as I remember it was indeed more about the military operation than the resistance.
The Winged Watchman by Hilda Van Stockum:
You might want to check out Corrie ten Boom’s “The Hiding Place”. She and her family hid Jews and members of the resistance in her house until they were discovered, and her book tells the story of her life before the war, and then during the war, both hiding people, and then, later on, in Ravensbruck.