RAF Bomber Command Confirmed 'War Crime' Actions 1939-1945

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  1. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    (Work in Progress will add if people are intrested)

    "The Horror and Revulsion which Men felt at the Atrocious Crimes which Accompanied the War tend to Fade and Disappear...."

    The Right Honourable Sir Harry Shawcross KC MP
    Attorney General
    War Crime Trials - 1949

    List of Australian and New Zealand POWs Confirmed as being sent to German KZ Camps (Not Just RAAF-RNZAF) And List of German Confirmed War Crime's Against RAF Bomber Command Aircrew before receiving their POW Numbers 1941-1945 Including where known Final Trial Dispositions.

    Explanation on POW Numbers

    ALL POW Numbers are given After Acceptance by a POW Camp - upto that Point 'Officially All POWs Captured are Not Confirmed as such by the 'Red Cross' until After they have Received their Number.
    This Means that Any POWs that are not Confirmed within a reasonable time are usually listed as 'Missing', then after that as Missing Presumed Killed until after the End of the War at which point the Missing were Investigated and in Many Cases found to be Killed Outright

    - There were however Anomalies.

    There were Cases of Outright Murder where POWs were Handed over to the Gestapo or SS or other Local Party Officials

    - often with No Known Resting Place as the End Result -

    but it has to be said this was Not a Air Force Problem alone as the Campaigns in Greece,Crete and North Africa are prime Examples of

    - Not to Mention POWs that made Escape Attempts and then Vanished forever
    (The POWs of the Great Escape were the most Notoriously well known case - however there were others where Remains were Never Recovered at All unlike the Sagan Escape - especially if they were Polish or Czech in Nature or from Any of the other 'Occupied Territory's').

    Two prime example's of this are the Fates of the unrecorded Aircrew of S/L DRC 'Drew' Wyness DFC RAF
    (617 RAF Sqd) who all survived being shot down during a Daylight Operation on 7 October 1944 only to be Murdered by 'Party Officials' of which 4 were later Confirmed as being Shot in the back of the Head and Dumped into the Rhine and 3 others Vanished and have No Known Resting Place.

    Another Case was the Aircrew of a Stirling of which 4 Aircrew were Killed and 3 Captured the Night of 22/23 June 1943 with 90 RAF Sqd, all 3 were Killed after being Shot shortly after Capture (Sgt N Graham RAF, Sgt N Hammond RAF and Sgt D Sanders RAF).

    Perhaps One of the Most Revolting is what Happened to F/Sgt Doyle RAF who was Shot Down over Hamburg, 27/28 July 1943 and after being Captured was Handed over to Guards at a Russian POW Camp.

    The POWs who witnessed the event were later to report having seen -


    "..The Guard smash a Chair into Pieces in his Fury and then use a piece of that Chair - the Leg of it - to then Beat the Airman about the Head repeatedly over and over until He was No Longer Moving.
    After that a Bucket of Water was thrown over him Simply to Revive the Unconscious Airman and to help in Washing Away the Blood on the Huts Floor - at that point when the Airman moved a Guard moved forward and without Pause shot the Airman in the Head and Body more then once.
    4 Russian POWs were then Detailed to Bury the Airman's remains behind their Camp almost immediately after the Murder taking place, on 7 August 1943 the Body was Recovered by the Germans and re buried at Harburg as an 'Unknown Airman'.
     
  2. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    Part 1

    Listing of Aircrew of RAF Bomber Command that were Killed before being issued with a POW Number but while under German Control in the Occupied Territory's or Germany 1941-1945
    (Order of the Year the Aircrew are Shot Down).

    NB Names of the Actual Murderers are not mentioned deliberately - this is about the Aircrew and those that helped them Not the People that killed them.
    Details on these Men can be foundin other Articles/Books and websites for those intreted.

    1941 -

    Before VE-Day was secured over 4000 RAAF Members would loose their lives serving in All the Units Associated with RAF Bomber Command and such was the scale of their sacrifice that more then one Family in what was still a relatively sparsely inhabited land would experience the pain of loosing more then one son or daughter.
    It is also revealed that by Australian and Commonwealth Records held in the UK and Australia that many Australians joined the RAF and served their country in this manner.
    A large number were also killed while serving with the RAF and not as members of their own countries Air Force and would therefore be in excess of the already mentioned 4000 RAAF Aircrew.
    A large Majority arrived in the UK pre-war during the late 1930s during which time they were often recipients of Short Service Commissions in the RAF or simply on holiday or left Australia to 'learn to fly' after the RAAF said 'No Thanks'.

    Equally before the end of the war many New Zealand Families would also be dealt this double blow with in some cases a second and a third son or daughter being killed while on active service.
    The year that was to come after 1941 would for the RNZAF be even worse with over 500 killed - the worst 24 Hour period in the wartime history of the RNZAF took place on 28/29 July 1942 during which 32 Aircrew died of which 21 belonged to 75 (NZ) Sqd alone.

    10/11 October 1941 - 0035 Hrs

    F/Sgt AR Robbins RAF and Aircrew - 58 RAF Sqd

    Ditched his Whitley 300 Meters off the Coast of Holland and left to Drown, when attempt was made to Launch area's Lifeboat by the Dutch they were Halted at Gun Point by German Officials and Police and told to 'Go Away'.
    They were then forced to Listen to the Cries for help out of the darkness slowly 'Fading Away into Silence'.
    Two Aircrew were Washed Ashore after being Drowned, while 2 Survived by Swimming Ashore only for One of them to Die on the Beech, 1 Airman has No Known Resting Place.

    The Survivor was then Ordered to March to the Local Polezei HQ 'Wet Exhausted and in Bare Feet' up a Steady Incline for just Over 1 Kilometre.
    His Survival was Due to the Luftwaffe Pilot who Shot them Down Arriving to take the POW under 'his protection'

    - The Survivor later Recording how 'Angry and genuinely Upset the young Pilot in particular was' when they heard him tell them what had happened.

    The Luftwaffe Pilot was Lt Hans Moller, he shot down his first Aircraft a Spitfire on 7 May 1941, then a pair of Blenhims on 28 August 1941 and his number 4 was the Whitley Aircrew described above.
    He remained with JG53 and served in the middle east before he was shot down by AA at a height of 500 Feet,25 March 1943 while strafing north of Beja in North Africa after his ME 109 was hit and caught fire.
    The Pilot safely abandoned his Aircraft after crash landing on the Road to Aboid and was captured shortly afterwards seeing the war out as a POW and surviving the war.

    By this time he had claimed 15 Aircraft Destroyed and was still a Leutenant.

    The Whitley's Aircrew who were Drowned in such a Callous manner were -

    F/Sgt AR Robbins RAFVR, Sgt AW Cooper RAFVR, P/O DS Mcdonald RCAF and Sgt TAW Hamilton RAFVR - the Survivor was Sgt WH Sproule RCAF who was a POW for the Wars Remaining Duration.

    No One was brought to face a court in this case after the end of the war and despite investigations and statements by the Dutch and the RCAF Airman in 1946 No Charges were brought in relation to this matter after the end of the war.
     
  3. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    1943 -

    In 1943 during the month of April out of 9 Lancasters that failed to return from operations with 460 RAAF Sqd All 64 Aircrew involved were Killed - of the 64 - 35 were RAAF Airman.
    As an example of the multi Casualties that could effect a Family the Extended Ross-Barrey Family of Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia had 6 serve in either the RAAF/RAF or RAN.
    By 1945 - 5 were Killed and only 1 Survived the War, with only 1 of the Dead having a known resting site.
    Another case would be the West Australian Clarke Family who in 1943 lost 1 Son with the RAAF only to have another Son Killed in 1945 also with the RAAF - both members of the Command.

    In New Zealand the Bentley Family lost 2 Sons one in May 1943 with the Command and another flying a Spitfire from Egypt to Libya in January 1943.
    Both of the Bentley Families Sons also have no known Resting Place.
    On the same bomber as the Bentley Family Lost their son, 2 Aircrew were also again killed from the same family in this case the Lamb Family, one dying in May 1943 and the other in May 1944 also flying in the command.
    During June 1942 a U-Boat sunk a ship that had on board RNZAF EATS Graduates on its way towards England - 29 June 1942.
    The handful of Survivors were then almost wiped out flying with the RNZAF as part of the Command.

    1943 was also the year when operationally experienced New Zealanders were to be killed while undertaking their second tour or undertaking training roles inside the command in larger and larger numbers.
    For Only 2 Separate sparsely populated Islands at this time in New Zealand's History - the burden of pain they would continue to bear continued in its growing weight as more and more people were effected by the European War.

    22/23 June 1943

    F/Sgt JA Robson RAFVR and Aircrew - 90 RAF Sqd
    4 Killed
    3 Airman Shot by 2 German Officials and a Civilian (See POW Numbers Explanation Above)

    No Charges were brought in relation to this matter after the end of the war.

    24/25 July 1943
    W/C DT Saville DSO DFC RAFVR (Australian in RAF) - 218 (Gold Coast) RAF Sqd
    1 Killed and 1 POW

    Reported hanged by Civilians - F/Sgt HW Beavis RNZAF, P/O TD Fairgrieve DFM RAF, P/O WJ Brighton RAFVR, F/L TA Stanley DFC RAFVR, F/L JL Birbeck DFC RAFVR, F/Sgt ABS Howat RAFVR.
    Survivor was located by Luftwaffe and recovered safely wounded and injured (F/O HC Eyre RAFVR) before the mob could locate him.
    Minimum of at least 3 Hung - entire Aircrew were Killed apart from Pilot and all Abandoned Stirling Safely - so it is now believed all Aircrew were murdered in some manner.

    The names of the 3 Aircrew sighted by F/O Eyre are not Recorded - so complete aircrew has been listed.

    F/O Eyre was last to abandon and all of the Aircrew went beside him to leave via stirlings nose hatch so he is 100% certain all but pilot were able to abandon aircraft safely.

    Survivor reported seeing dead bodies 'hung from lampposts of 3 of his Aircrew', while his Luftwaffe escort were forced to draw bayonets on civilians and fix them to their rifles before forming a protective circle around him to prevent them doing the same to him on a number of occasions while making the journey to the Dulag Luft later and when getting treatment for his wounds shortly after being shot down.

    No Charges were brought in relation to this matter after the end of the war.

    27/28 July 1943

    F/Sgt JB Charters RAFVR and Aircrew - 106 RAF Sqd
    6 Killed
    Captured by Krimnal Polizi and handed over to Landwacht Batt 498, 3 Kompany in charge of a Soviet POW Camp at Veddel Near Hamburg in Northern Germany 1 Airman (Sgt JW Doyle RAFVR) beaten and shot to death after he survived the loss of his Lancaster,remaining Aircrews Fate Unknown.

    Aircrew listed 'Failed to Return - Nothing Further Heard After Take Off.

    Lost Without Trace in RAF Records

    Aircrew Remains Unknown - Listed Runnymede Memorial for Aircrew With No Known Resting Place

    (See POW Numbers Explanation Above)

    Whermacht ordered immediate enquiry - Murderer was detained for 48-72 Hours depending on reports read and then charges were dropped and the Guilty Member was returned to duty at the same camp with no further action taking place.

    No Charges Resulted in this Matter despite the Soviet POWs making detailed statements to the RAF after the end of the War.

    18/19 October 1943

    F/Sgt LJ Hinton RAAF and Aircrew - 103 RAF Sqd

    F/L D McNaught Moodie DFC RCAF and Aircrew - 97 (Straights Settlements) RAF Sqd

    (Mid Air Collision between both Lancasters cause of both Aircrews Loss)

    1 POW and 10 Killed

    1 Airman reported 'hearing shooting after landing' who belonged to the other Lancaster that crashed after being struck in the Collision.
    From the combined 14 Airman involved there was only 1 survivor from the 2 Lancasters who later became a POW for the duration of the war (Sgt HWN Clausen DFM RAF BA) and heard the earlier mentioned gunfire which he reported when being debriefed at the end of the war.

    What happened that night was revealed due to the insistence of the Next Of Kin of one of the dead who was determined to know what actually did happen and refused to give in and accept the 'offical version' when it was announced that he had no known resting place.

    The truth about Sgt TF Stott RAFVR, Sgt CH Leech RAFVR and Sgt TH Davies RAF, who all in fact survived their Aircrafts Loss, and were members of the 103 RAF Sqd Lancaster that crashed were indeed in at least the case of two worthy of addition to this list.
    All 3 were captured - Sgt Leech RAF and Sgt TH Davies RAF were Shot, then they were thrown into the Lancaster's burning wreckage to destroy the evidence of the crime.

    At close to the same time Sgt Stott RAFVR met a woman that aided his escape

    - he then selflessly agreed to aid a Polish Group of Prisoners that were part of a Polish Working Party in their own attempt at escaping, they were all captured in the attempt and Sgt Stott was severely beaten by the guards before they took him to a local hospital

    - which he then promptly escaped from.

    Once more he then vanished before 2 Nurses reported meeting the Missing Airman after he had crossed over into Soviet Territory

    - they reported him as being seriously ill and dying of TB -

    His final resting site is still unknown.

    No Charges were brought in relation to this matter after the end of the war.

    All 3 Missing Airman are recorded on the Runnymede Memorial for Aircrew with No Known Resting Place.

    22/23 October 1943

    F/L JR Bryan RCAF and Aircrew - 434 (Bluenose) RCAF Sqd

    2 POWs and 3 Killed

    2 POWs reported that 4 Airman abandoned the Halifax safely in total, of which 1 was believed to have been killed when he landed in the fires caused by the bombing below them while another was reported to the POWs as being killed by the civilian population by his guards

    - this was confirmed by a POW who later sighted the missing airman's 'opened parachute along with his footware'.

    This was furher confirmed once again while at the Luftwaffe's Dulag Luft Interrogation Centre and when the Pilot F/L Bryan RCAF demanded to be allowed to sight the Airman's body his German interpreter then refused and slapped him before knocking him to the ground

    - permission was refused despite repeated pleas made by the Pilot to see the body of the Airman that belonged to his aircrew.

    Both missing airman are now at eternal peace in Hannover's War Cemetery.

    The 2 Airman concerned were F/Sgt WH Burton RCAF (Possible Fire) and F/O WS Sewall RCAF (Murdered)

    No Charges were brought in relation to this matter after the end of the war.
     
  4. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    During 1944 RAAF Casualties significantly continued to rise higher and higher and by years end they were at just under 1800 Killed.
    The most senior ranking RAAF Airman who died serving with the command also was killed this year
    - G/C JR Balmer OBE DFC in May with 467 RAAF Sqd.

    1944 also witnessed the death of one of the RNZAF's ''Best and brightest' W/C JF Barron DSO Bar DFC DFM RNZAF aged 23.
    He was killed after flying 1264 Operational Flying Hours and completed 79 Operations, failing to return on his 80th.
    The aircrafts loss over a 'soft' French target is now believed to have come about due to a mid air collision that took place while operating as a master bomber,between his Lancaster and that of his Deputy Master Bomber while over the target (S/L JM Dennis DSO DFC RAFVR).
    All 15 Aircrew were Killed.

    21/22 January 1944

    F/O WK Hutton RAAF and Aircrew - 83 RAF Sqd
    2 Killed and 4 POWs

    Both AG's were killed by the Nightfighter but the pilots fate is not as clear.

    While this Aircrew's remaining members were able to survive as POWs for the wars duration the expierence of this Aircrew's Irish RAF WOP deserves to be recalled Along with the other Surviving POWs that made up this Aircrew.

    F/O JW 'Paddy' Houston DFM RAFVR along with F/Sgt AF McInnes RAAF and P/O GMD Breaden RAAF are who's recollections are combined below, the other POW was the F/E Sgt JO Lightfoot RAFVR.

    F/O JW Houston DFM RAFVR Stated -

    "The Aircraft was attacked by a single FW 190 which in only one devastating pass killed both AGs (F/Sgt RE Walker RAAF M/U AG and Rear AG Sgt RH Easton RAF) with only a brief warning from the M/U AG to 'Dive Port Now' - all survivors agree that the report ended mid word.
    The Attack also destroyed both Port Engines and on a second pass their was no return fire from the AG's, while the Nightfighter made another final 3rd pass the Aircrew commenced to abandon the aircraft with 4 Airman confirmed as jumping safely

    - as well as the Pilot who was belived to have been number 5 in jumping safely"

    F/Sgt AF McInnes RAAF Stated -

    "...wounded in shoulders by Cannon Shells which exploded behind me I was able to land without any further injury ......
    Shortly afterwards I was located by some civilians who then proceeded to attack me and while doing so broke one of my ribs and fractured others due to kicking me while I was down and not stoping til I played at being dead..."

    F/O JW Houston DFM RAFVR Stated -

    " ....after I abandoned the Lancaster I started to drift over towards the target which was burning below me and I avoided this fate by pulling on my parachute lines until I drifted clear and landed safely in a nearby farmers Field

    - almost at once I was being surrounded by a large angry group of civilians that then tore at my clothing before I could get clear and then started to punch me til I collapsed before then kicking me repeatedly until I was semi conscious.

    I then regained my senses when I felt a rope being placed around my neck and tightened at which point a violent argument erupted between the German Males as to who would have the ''honour' of killing me".

    "At this point a German Woman and a Policeman appeared on the scene and demanded that I be handed over to them

    - at which point even more shouting and arguments erupted around me -

    the Policeman drew his sidearm and started waving it around in a menacing manor,eventually getting the situation back under control.

    I was then dragged into a nearby barn where I found a 'worse for wear' F/Sgt McInnes RAAF already inside...."

    P/O GMD Breaden RAAF Stated -

    "......delayed opening my parachute for several thousands of feet so as to avoid drifting over towards the burning target below me which was clearly in sight.
    As I had hoped this worked and I landed safely some distance from the aircrafts crash location, I then spent the night wrapped up inside my own parachute for comfort and warmth..."

    He was also captured on 22 January 1944 and he went on -

    "....a hostile group soon surrounded me and started to make threatening moves against my well being before a policeman came along and took possession of me.."

    He also recorded a report that the Australian Pilot Ken Hutton was 'murderd after being captured by the same group of people' the night they were All shot down.

    All 3 Airman now rest in the Berlin 1939-1945 War Cemetery after being relocated and re buried formally after the end of the war.

    No Charges were brought in relation to this matter after the end of the war.

    24/25 March 1944 at 2200 Hrs

    Berlin Op - Unknown Airman

    The Luckless Airman landed on the roof of the house at Schonleinstrasse 7 - he was saved from falling to his death onto the Courtyard 4 Stories below by his parachute snagging on the roof - a number of Berliners cut him down before allowing him to fall helplessly onto the ground where he was killed by the impact of the fall.
    It is reported one of the Germans responsible said as he was dying on the ground

    - 'The Dog Deserves No Better'.

    Postwar 2 People were put on trial for this act found guilty and sentenced to 15 Years Imprisonment for the young airman's death.

    18 April 1944
    Unknown Airmen

    2nd Lt HJ Dougherty USAAF of the 331st BS 94th BG 8AF stated after the war -

    "After being shot down and beaten by Civilians at Spandau I was taken to the house of the Towns Mayor where he showed me with pride the bodies of 4 RAF Bomber Command Airman hanging by their necks from nearby telegraph poles - all were Officers from what I could see..."

    11/12 June 1944

    P/O DE Melcombe RCAF and Aircrew - 405 (Vancouver) RCAF Sqd
    1 POW and 5 Evaded Capture

    F/O J McVicar Clement RCAF safely abandoned his Lancaster and immediately started to evade capture,he located a French Farmer who aided him in his efforts by hiding him at Larcan - unknown to them all the Gestapo had launched a successful raid and captured the entire 'Marco Polo' Cell of the Resistance.
    After enduring intense periods of Torture someone inevitably talked and this led to the Family Farm of Monsieur and Madame Bodineau - where the airman was still being sheltered - being surrounded.

    At 9 PM 24 July 1944 they moved in and in the process captured several members of the Resistance along with F/O Clement RCAF.

    As the Airman was 'wearing Civilian Clothing' and despite still wearing his Identification Tags,orders were issued that he was to be treated no differently to the Resistance Members and suffered repeated beatings and Torture of an extremely violent nature (fingernails removed/electric shock are some of the types mentioned).
    After this they were all moved into the Tours Prison and while there,if it can be believed, the torture was increased tenfold in its ferocity.

    As the USA approached the area, 26 Resistance Suspects -among them F/O Clements RCAF and Monsieur Bodineau - were taken under escort on 9 August 1944 to the Airfield in the Loire Valley at Parcay-Meslay (St Symphorien) in 3 Trucks where they were all then shot in the back of the head and left there while those who committed the murders flew away and left the area for safety.

    No Charges were brought in relation to this matter after the end of the war.
     
  5. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    12/13 June 1944
    F/O HM Burkiewicz Polish AF (PAF) and Aircrew - 300 PAF Sqd
    5 Aircrew were Killed

    - 2 Abandoned safely one of which was the Rear AG F/Sgt LJ Klucha PAF.

    He was taken into custody by the local fire brigade chief who then handed him over still alive and uninjured to the local Police who then had him locked up in the cells at Radevormwald Polizi Station in Northern Germany.
    The policemen were then instructed to drive F/Sgt Klucha PAF to a pre arranged location where he was ordered to leave the car

    - and was then shot by another policeman in hiding.

    One of his escort also fired into the head to be sure the airman was dead.

    Only 1 of the 3 Policeman were located - he was sentenced to life imprisonment 9 June 1948.

    The Fate of the other Unknown PAF Airman of this Aircrew who survived is unknown as they were all killed and now rest in the Reichswald Forest War Cemetery together.
     
  6. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    16-17 June 1944
    F/L SE Wodehouse RAF and Aircrew - 77 RAF Sqd
    8 Aircrew - 5 Killed and 2 POWs
    F/O JS Nott MID (Postnum-1946) RAAF Bomb Aimer Evading Capture

    16-17 June 1944
    F/O GH Blatchford RCAF and Aircrew - 431 (Iroquois) RCAF Sqd
    3 Killed 3 POWs
    F/O RE Carter MID RCAF Navigator Evading Capture

    21/22 June 1944
    F/L RA Walker DFC MID RAF and Aircrew - 83 RAF Sqd
    6 Killed
    F/L RA Walker DFC MID RAF Pilot Evading Capture

    Introduction

    This Tale and the actions of one Elderly Woman residing in the Netherlands in what for many would be their later years is a perfect example of why so many Aircrew that evaded (and their Families) feel to this day such a depth of Gratitude and Kinship with those that helped them to evade be it large or small successful or not.
    It also helps to explain the sadness felt by many for those later caught and usually murdered by the Gestapo or sent to a slow death in a Konzentrationslager

    - It is also an Excellent Example of how a War Crime Trial was carried out in 1946 and the lengths the RAF's Investigators went to obtain justice for the dead and closure for the next of kin.

    Lastly this will demonstrate the conditions inside the Netherlands in the period 1940-1944, including details on the treatment of the Jewish Population, the role of the Camps inside the Country in the wider German System and the efforts the Germans went to in just one part of the country to destroy through fear and intimidation any effort to resist or aid those the occupiers declared to be no longer acceptable.

    All 3 Airman were in hiding under the protection of the Resistance at a house whose address was 49 Diepentraat Tilburg in the Netherlands, the abode of the Elderly (60 Year Old) Miss Jacoba Pulskens or to her many guests simply 'Tante Coba' or Aunt Coba in English.
    During her period sheltering people on behalf of the Resistance she not only Helped Aircrews to make successful home runs, but also protected scores of Jewish Children and Families along with other people that were in opposition to the occupying powers interests.
    Tilburg itself is located in the Southern area of the Netherlands known as Noord Brabant and the Aircrew were moving down their escape line in preparation for a move into Belgium when tragedy struck.

    Unlike many other areas that were Occupied and then liberated

    - be it by Soviet or Allied Forces' -

    there are only a few locations that were occupied fully or to a large degree from the day they 'surrendered' to the end of the war in Europe (excluding Greece or Crete etc as they were in the Med or Singapore/Hong Kong/Ambon Island as these were in the Pacific, and were not therefore in the European Theatre).
    These are (in order of Invasion) Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands

    - this fact is often overlooked by historians of the war in favour of the Battles for France or Belgium on the Allied side or the Campaigns in the East by the Soviet Side.

    Additionally most people believe that the Netherlands were liberated during Operation Market Garden (September 1944) or in the period directly afterwards

    - this again is also incorrect -

    - as Operation Manna Amply demonstrated -

    with over 3 Million of the population of the Netherlands still under Occupation at that point in the war.
     
  7. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    Early Years 1884-1914

    Jacoba Maria Pulskens was the third child born on 26 May 1884 in her Native Town of Tilburg to her Parents Nicolaas and Johanna, Her Father worked in the flourishing Textile Industry in Tilburg as a Weaver in a Local Factory and she grew up in a Poor Working Class Family inside one of the Older Districts of Tilburg which made up the Southern Province of 'Noord Brabant' inside the Netherlands.
    To all those who grew up knowing her or her Family she was always referred to as 'Tante Coba', and this was the term she was known by to most of Tilburg as well.
    Tilburg itself had a Large Textile and Wool based industry and was a major exporter thought Europe in this field, it also was a well recognised Sheep Breeding area which led to large areas of Farmland being created, and on Sint Jozefstraat there was the newly opened Koing Willem II Cavalerie Kazerne (King Wilhelm II Calvary Barracks the oldest of its type in the Netherlands today) which was later to be the home of the Local Politie Kazerne (Police Barracks).

    After completing her Primary education with the Nuns at the local Primary School she next attended the Huishoudschool at Korvel and after she had completed her training there she gained her first job after qualification by working for the Family of a Jewish Run Diamond Dealership at Antwerp.
    The Huishoudschool at Korvel she attended was a Household or Domestic Training School.
    These School's were designed to teach the Young Girls and Ladies of the Netherlands and other nearby areas how to Cook and do other Household Chores such as sowing, while at the same time teaching them about new areas such as Nutrition.

    These School's can trace their history back to as far as 1888, renamed in 1968 (when the first Male Class was accepted!) they are still in service today turning out boys and girls that specialise in the Cooking Field and other related areas.
    There were many Jewish Familles involved in the Industrial locations inside of this district of Noord Brabant - but it is the Diamond Merchants of Amsterdam that are best remembered inside Tilburg for taking on well trained Au Pairs due to the local school's efforts at Korvel.

    Despite now living in Amsterdam her heart always was with Tilburg and especially Korvel and as such she made regular visits back to see her Family and Friends.
    Her next Job took her to Belgium where she worked for Anne Fox,once more as an 'au pair', making regular visits back to her home town throughout this time of her life.
     
  8. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    1914-1918

    Even though the Netherlands remained 'Neutral' in the Great War

    - it was still involved on the German Side Heavily.

    The original version of the 'Schieffen Plan' as put forward by Graf/Count Alfred von Schieffen (1833-1913) in 1905, had an invasion of the Netherlands as one of its core objectives.
    This was later deleted by Helmuth von Moltke (1848-1916) and his Aide Erich von Ludendorff (1865-1937) in order to preserve the stated aims of Neutrality that the Netherlands demanded as a Nation be 'respected by All Combatants of any Future War'.
    For the Oberste Heeresleitung (OHL - German High Command) this was later seen as being an added strategic and tactical bonus in that it avoided any kind of a needless delay in the main Campaign against France.

    More importantly for OHL, Helmuth von Moltke was already envisioning the use of the North Sea Ports along the Netherlands Coastline's Northern and Western seaboards to keep not only Germany Supplied, but also his Army while it made its March against Germanys true enemy - France, ending with the planned Capture of Paris.

    "For Us it will be of the utmost importance to have in the Netherlands a Country whose neutrality will assure imports and exports.
    It will have to be the windpipe that enables Us to Breathe" (1908-1911).

    After the Maritime Blockade was starting to 'hurt' Germany later in the war, the Netherlands assisted Germany greatly by allowing the importation of goods through their ports that were to be destined for eventual use in Germany as well assisting in other forms of production locally such as Cheese, Butter, Eggs Wheat, Coal and various metal Ore's like Copper or Iron etc.
    This Maritime trade only came to an end after 1916 when the British and its Empire's Naval Fleet supported by the still Neutral American Fleet started to slowly cut-off and eventually strangle dead this trade

    - which also led to the Netherlands once more being in a nearly starved state (though not as bad as Germany 1918) by the time of the Armistice.

    The land based exports from within the Country continued unaffected almost right up to the end of the Great War.

    Despite all this the Netherlands were against the odds and with a few 'bumps' in the road still able to remain Neutral in the Great War until the Armistice was signed and on some occasions even able to assist occupied territory's like Belgium by threatening to withhold these exports unless certain things were changed.
     
  9. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    'Tante Coba's' First 'Taste' of being under German Control took place during the Great War while she was still in Belgium, which Germany Invaded on 4 August 1914 after the Belgian Government declined the German Army access across its boarders.
    By the end of September 1914 almost all of Belgium was occupied by the Germans (Antwerp Surrendered after being under Siege from August during October 1914 and Brussels Surrendered 20/21 August 1914), with only some of the regions in the extreme west still unoccupied or now active warzones (Ypres would be a good example of this in Western Belgium).
    Many Civilians, and it has to be said Army Members as well, immediately fled to the nearby Netherlands whereupon all that had carried arms against Germany were interned for the duration of the war due to its own countries Neutrality, while doing their best to cater for the Refugees now crossing into the Netherlands in larger and larger numbers.

    As of December 1914 Belgium was effectively under the control of Germany for the duration of the Great War to a large extent, the new ruling power being no longer the Belgian Parliament but the German Controlled Kaiserliche Deutsche Generalgouvernement Belgien, with the Ruler of Belgium now called the Generalgouverneur and based in Brussels.
    This was confirmed formally by the Kaiser after he announced it in the form of an Imperial Decree in Berlin on 23 August 1914, and its important to note that this was not just for Belgium but for ALL German Occupied Territory's of the Great War.
    The Kaiser Wilhelm II appointed as the Generalgouverneur of Belgium Freiherr Wilhelm Leopold Colmar von der Goltz (1843-1916), who was then replaced in November 1914 by Moritz Ferdinand von Bissing (1845-1917), who is most remembered for signing the execution order of Nurse Edith Louisa Cavell (1865-1915) who was shot by a firing squad at Brussels after being found Guilty of being a 'spy' alongside another member of her group Belgian Philippe Baucq on 12 October 1915.
    The last words recorded by the Officer in charge of the Firing squad are recorded as being spoken by Philippe Baucq when he yelled just before the order to fire was given

    - 'In the Presence of death we are all Comrades'.

    After the Death of Moritz Ferdinand von Bissing, he in turn was replaced in 1917 by Ludwig Alexander Friedrich August Philipp Freiherr von Falkenhayn (1844-1936), who held the position until the Armistice of 1918.

    Some of the changes enforced on Belgium included banning the use of the Belgian Language, with only the German Language now to be used in speech and other areas like newspapers or mail.
    Other incidents that would no doubt have helped to solidify 'Tante Coba's' decision in regard to her own Mischief later in the war would have included the period now known as the 'Rape of Belgium' and the wholesale execution of members of the Catholic Clergy throughout Belgium during this period and for sometime after.

    During the German Armies Offensive from August 1914 through to September 1914 German Forces burnt homes and carried out widescale executions of families throughout eastern and central Belgium with some of the worst events taking place at Aarschot 156 Killed, Andeene 211 Killed, Tamines 383 Killed and Dinant 665 Killed.
    The worst however took place at Leuven on 25 August 1914 where a University holding over 230 000 Books was burnt down to the ground by using incendiaries and petrol and 248 People Killed along with another
    42 000 ordered to leave the area with nothing more then what they were able to carry.
    Among those who were shot were the Cities Mayor, Rector and all the Police Force while more were deported back to Germany to work in their factories from those now forced to abandon their homes.
    The Germans then looted Military and Civilian areas of their foodstuffs along with other strategic materials and modern industrial equipment all of which was later transported by rail back to Germany.

    In regard to the attitude of the Germans involved in the attacks targeting Leuven (Including the 94 Ton 16.5 Inch Heavy Siege Mortar 'Dicke Bertha' or 'Big Bertha' which fired a 1807lb Shell) a German Officer would later record -

    "We Shall Wipe it Out.
    Not one stone will stand upon another.
    We will teach them to respect Germany.
    For Generations people will come and see what we have done."

    Other cases involved Hostages being Shot along with Priests and members of the Catholic Community including Nuns, while other crimes such as rape also took place amongst the people of Belgium as a whole.
    This period is now known in history as the 'Rape of Belgium', while the Germans referred to it as being the time of the 'Schrecklichkeit' (Terror or Frightfulness).

    As will be seen below the case of Gabrielle Petit has strong echoes of 'Tante Coba's' Background and future actions in more ways then one, it may have also been yet another event that helped to lead to her ultimate role after the Netherlands were invaded in 1940

    - her story was also virtually unknown until after the war -

    another similarity with the ultimate fate that befell that of 'Tante Coba'.

    Gabrielle Alina Eugenia Maria Petit was born 20 February 1893 in Belgium to Poor Working Class Parents, she was educated under the nuns at Breugeltte' Catholic Boarding School after the death of her mother while she was still a child and by 1914 was residing in Brussels while working as a saleswoman at the age of 21.
    After Belgium was invaded she joined the Belgian Red Cross almost immediately, one of her first acts of overt defiance was to aid a wounded Belgian soldier who just happened to be her Fiancé Maurice Gobert in crossing over into Neutral Holland in late 1914.
    Shortly afterwards she made contact with British Intelligence and started to pass details to them on German Troop Movements she had witnessed while crossing the boarder with Maurice Gobert and during their passage through Belgium.
    Shortly after reuniting with his regiment and after recovering from his Journey Maurice Gobert not wishing to be Interned then left the Netherlands with some others to continue the fight in France.

    This was in fact his second escape as after the battles around Hofstade where he was wounded, he had been captured and was a POW of the Germans before he managed to escape and then return back to his parents home to recover from his wounds with the help of Gabrielle before they left bound for the boarder together.

    Meantime Gabrielle had by this time been recruited 'formally' by the British to Spy on the Germans and after receiving some rudimentary training she was successfully returned back into Belgium to begin her new role.
    Using a number of False Identities she was very successful in finding out details on German Units inside Belgium or heading to the front line at Ypres, as well as the railway transmission codes preceding these transports which she successfully passed onto England.
    Not being satisfied with these actions, she also distributed the 'illegal' newspaper 'La Libre Belgique' and distributed mail via the underground mail service known as 'Mot du Soldat'.
    Throughout this entire period she was continuing to assist men in crossing the boarder into the Netherlands -with the occasional family or child also thrown in for good measure.

    During February 1916 the Germans finally caught up with her after she was betrayed by a German Sympathiser, after a period of interrogation she faced a German Court and was found guilty 1 March 1916, her sentence Death by firing squad.
    The sentence was carried out on 1 April 1916 after several attempts to get her to betray her own helpers or become a double agent failed, after being pronounced dead she was buried in the same field she had been shot in at Schaarbeek in an already unmarked freshly dug grave that had been earlier prepared before the execution.
    After the war when her story became known, she was loacted and then recovered to be given a formal burial during May 1919 in the Local Cemetery at Schaarbeek where she was laid to rest beside 2 Belgian Men also shot by the Germans in a similar manner.

    A monument was erected in her honour in Brussels while in her home town a square was named after her.

    In 1916-1917 Germanys Manpower Shortage was becoming more and more acute (again echoes of the future here), so to overcome these problems Male and Female workers were used in Armaments Factories in Germany and Belgium as forced labour.
    It was during this period of the War that 'Tante Coba' started to get upto what she called afterwards her own piece of 'Mischief', while still in Occupied Belgium after being 'ordered' to work in one of these factories.
     
  10. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    At first earlier in the war, all she did was to Smuggle items across the boarder in either direction by hiding them on her person while at the same time learning how to bluff her way past check points and other forms of boarder controls in her area.
    This was not as simple as it sounds as from Spring 1915 the Germans erected an Electric Fence powered by 2000 Volts of electricity which was supplied by several different PowerStation's all along its length, it ran for 125 Mile's of the Boarder between the Netherlands and Belgium and reached heights of upto 3 Meters.
    The death toll from this fence is still unknown but some sources in Belgium and the Netherlands record it as being as high as 2-3000 People by the time of the armistice with victims ranging in age and sex.

    This Fence also lead to the reduction and then almost complete destruction of Social relationships between Belgium and the Netherlands and effected in particular the Netherlands Population in the Southern Half of both Countries (including Tilburg), with some local dialects being lost forever as a direct result.
    Added to this were the usual Checkpoints/Boarder Guards/Machine Gun Positions and other forms of boarder security that can be expected in wartime.

    Not long after starting her own time in a Belgian Factory manufacturing Shells and Hand Grenades as forced labour, she started to go about sabotaging its production efforts by stealing and hiding at her home Copper fittings vital to the process

    - after the war she would often show off some of these pieces of Copper and other bits of metal from the production line to those that visited her.

    At the same time 'Tante Koba' was getting upto her mischief, in a country quite literally half a world away from her in Australia one of the three Aircrew she would shelter was being born to his parents Charles and Beatrice Nott in the heart of farming country in Central Western NSW at Armidale on 26 March 1918.
    The young Childs Father was not present as he was away in France after enlisting in 1917 and arriving there in 1918 just in time for the last big German Offensive.
    When he returned home due to a shortage of shipping the AIF returned to Australia in what was referred to as it being their order of enlistment (IE 1915 before 1918 etc) so he never got to see his son until he returned to the family farm in 1922, by which time he had not only seen service with the AIF but had also been sent to Germany for a period as part of the occupation force after the Armistice and then seen the sights of England before being 'allowed' to board his Troopship back home.

    His Son was Named Jack Stewart

    - Jack was a Family tradition but Stewart was in honour of his best friend from school who was killed at Fromelle in 1916, one of the many simply listed Missing Presumed Killed as no body was ever located.
    This was another of the reasons that led him to joining up in 1917 once he was able to prove he was no longer needed on the farm and his young wife would not be under undue stress by his enlistment.
    He had in fact tried twice already but on each time his enlistment was deferred as the farm he worked on was a milking one with Cows as well as sheep and therefore 'vital to the war effort'.
    It wasn't til his Father and Jacks future Grandfather (who was a Boer War Veteran) arrived to assist on the farm that the army agreed to his enlistment finally being allowed to take place.
     
  11. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    After the War 1931-1939

    In 1931 'Tante Coba' returned back to her native Tilburg and took on the job of being a cleaning lady and worked inside the Public Works Building on Lange Schijfstraat and occasionally would also clean the Canissiusschool located on Korvelseweg (Tilburg's Main Road).
    At this time she also started to live at her House on 49 Diepenstraat and was still quite happily un-married.

    It is reported that when asked about marriage after she had returned to Tilburg she stated -

    "The Boys Are Not Like me Enough!". ("Der Jongens vinden mij niet mooi genoeg!")

    Beside her House at 49 Diepenstraat there was her Grocer Mr Sjef van Eerdewijk and his Wife Anna

    - Mr Eerdewijk describing her after the war as being -

    "..regular member of the church's Congregation that attended the Kapucijnen Kerk (Church) on the Korvelseweg, because she loved 'hearing the beautiful sounds that took place inside there' ".

    She was also known for undertaking a strict life of Temperance as the church at that time expected of her due to her Catholic upbringing

    - Everone in Tilburg recalled her as being -

    "..Friendly and Humble Woman who had a love for fun and mischief especially with the Tilburg locals near to her home which included her Brother and his Wife".

    Some People also recalled how their children were sometimes scared of her and she was for a period nicknamed the "witch" by those children

    - this misconception due to, as with all children

    - overactive imaginations brought about by her sometimes unkempt appearance.

    She was also known for her visits to the Cafe L'Echo des Montagnes located on the square near the Politie Kazerne where she would have her occasional half a pint of Beer

    - sometimes she would also take along with her the Aircrew she would be sheltering as her Escort.

    This was especially dangerous during the war as while undertaking these "visit's" she would often find herself and her 'Boys' quite literally right under the Gestapo's noses due to them baseing themselves inside that very same Politie Kazerne she would walk past before the war to reach the Cafe.

    Whenever her Brother tried to discourage these visits by asking her why she would put herself at risk so much, her reply more often then not was

    - 'Because the boys needed some air and so do I'.

    And that was an end to it as far as she was concerned

    - her 'Boys' always came first with her

    - no matter how risky their needs may have been.

    Other people also noted that she loved doing Crosswords and that she could be "Laconic and occasionally reacted impulsively'".
     
  12. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    Occupation Again May 1940 - 1941

    Once more as in 1914 Holland declared itself Neutral in 1939 after Poland was Invaded on 1 September 1939by Germany

    - however on 10 May 1940 Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands were All invaded by the German's.

    Some areas were able to continue fighting until 17 May 1940

    - but in General after the devastating bombing of Rotterdam (14 May 1940 1030 Hrs (German Time) - 1150 110lb and 158 550lb Bombs dropped from a height of 2300 Feet by HE 111s of KG54 killing 8-900 People while levelling 1 Square Mile of the city centre) most forces within the Netherlands had surrendered by 14 May 1940 to the Commander of Army Group B Fedor von Bock (1880-1945) and his forces.

    Tilburg was entered by advance German Units of 9 Panzer Division (Commanded by Alfred Ritter von Hubicki (1887-1971)) on 11 May 1940 and the installation of the first German Appointed Reichskommissar took place shortly afterwards.
    The Netherlands was to be now governed by the Reichskommissariat, 'Actively' supported by the leader of the NSB Anton Mussert (1894-1946).
    The new Netherlands Reichskommissar or to give his full title 'Reichskommissar fur die besetzten Niederlandischen Gebiete' was the Former Chancellor of Austria Arthur Seyss-Inquart a known Anti-Semite
    (1892-1946), a position he would hold until April 1945 after taking over from the Millitarbefehlshaber or Temporary Military Governor Alexander von Falkenhausen (1878-1966) who now would become the Reichskommissar for Holland's Neighbour - Belgium, a post he held until 1944.
    The new title that the Head of the NSB was to be from now on known by was 'Furher of the Nederlands People' (leader of the Netherlands People).

    The German Administration of the Netherlands could be broken down as being -

    Reichskommissar fur die besetzten Niederlandischen Gebiete - Arthur Seyss-Inquart
    (Highest Civil Ruler)

    Generalkommisar fur Finanz und Wirtschaft - Hans Fischbock (1895-1967)
    (Finance and Economics)

    Generalkommisar fur das Sicherheitswesen - Hans Albin Rauter (1895-1949)
    (Security)
    and Hoherer SS und Polizei Furher Nordwest
    (deportation of Jews/dealing with acts of resistance - answerable only to Reichsfurher der SS Heinrich Himmler and after that Reichskommisar Seyss-Inquart)

    Generalkommisar zur besonderen Verwendung - Fritz Schmidt (1903-1943)
    (Special Tasks 1940-1943)
    Generalkommisar zur besonderen Verwendung - Willhelm Ritterbusch (1892- Fate after end of War Unknown)
    (Special Tasks 26 June 1943 til end of war)

    Generalkommisar fur Verwaltung und Justiz - Friedrich Wimmer (1897-1965)
    (Administration and Justice)

    Befehlshaber der Sicherheit der Polizei und de SD - Wilhelm Harster (1904-1991)
    15 July 1940 - 28 August 1943
    Replaced by Befehlshaber der Sicherheit der Polizei und de SD - Erich Naumann (1905-1951)
    28 August 1943 - July 1944
    (Deportations)
    (also in charge of the Netherlands Kriminalpolizei (Kirpo), Ordnungspolizei (Orpo), Sicherheitsdienst (SD), Gestapo and Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RASHA) as well as All Netherlands based SS Units and the Locally Manned Netherlands Police Force)

    Aussenstelle SD - Willy Paul Franz Lages (1901-1971)
    (Amsterdam SD Commander and later Zentralstelle fur Judische Auswanderung (Manger of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration and directly answerable to Reinhard Heydrich (1904-1942)
    - responsible for several executions of Netherlands Resistance Members)

    Zentralstelle fur Judische Auswanderung - Ferdinand Hugo aus der Funten (1909-1989)
    (Deportations)

    Other Germans involved in the Netherlands later indicted for War Crimes included -

    Karl Peter Berg (1907-1949) -
    Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort Camp Commander 1943-1945

    Friedrich Christiansen (1879-1972) -
    Befehlshaber der Wehrmacht in den Niederlanden 1940-April 1945

    Franz Fischer (1901-1989) -
    SD Commander Utrecht and the Hague
    - Nicknamed "Fischer Jude" due to his relentless pursuit of Jewish People for Deportations
    (Lit Jew Fishermen)

    Walter Heinrich (Missing War Criminal whereabouts Unknown Vanished 1 March 1943 Last Seen KZ Dachau) -
    Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort Camp Commander 1941-1943

    Joesph Johann Kotalla (1908-1979) -
    Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort Camp Head of Administration nicknamed by Prisoners

    "The Executioner of Amersfoort"

    - known for his love of torturing people or volunteering for execution squads to shoot prisoners.

    Hans Cornelis Stover (1900-2002) -
    Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort 2nd in Command trained at KZ Dachau
     
  13. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    Other Noteable Germans Involved in Her Story or assigned to Capture or Destroy Netherlands baesed Resistance efforts included (1940-1945) -

    Dr Hans-Georg Calmeyer (1903-1972) -
    Commanded Abteilung Innere Verwaltung
    Assisted Thousands of Jewish People by falsifying their 'Jewishness' in German Records ie 1/3 etc and in 1988 was awarded a Posthumous Israeli Award the Yad Vashem for his efforts which was presented to his son.
    Numbers mentioned are (all are approximate only and may be larger or smaller as exact figures are unknown) - 5700 Cases made 'doubtful' to the German System with at least 3700 spared by his work from deportations etc.
    It should also be mentioned that he also took part in approving the transportation of 140 000 People

    - but that figure could so easily have been so much more but for his efforts and legal know how which enabled him to deceive the system from within.

    Erich Deppner (1910-2005) -
    Commander Abt IV Gegnerbekampfung in the Hauge reporting directly to Befhelshaber Sicherheit der Polizei und der SD Nederlands Wilhelm Harster.
    He also reported to Erich Naumann and Karl Eberhard Schongarth as part of his duites.

    His role was simple

    - to combat all forms of resistance inside his zone of responsibillity to the German Miliarty and Civil Authoriets, as well as assisting other Commands outside his in defeating All acts at resistance -

    from his office nationwaide sweeps against the Netheralnds Resistance Forces were conducted under his overall command.

    During April 1942 operating under orders given by Reichsfurher der SS Himmler and Hanns Albin Rauter he was ordered to oversee the immeadite disposal of 65-75 Russian POWs held at the Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort.
    These POWs had firstly arived at the camp during September 1941 as a group of 101 Men, by the time the order was given this total had been reduce down to 65-75.
    The POWs were lead outside Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort and driven in a apir of trucks to the nearby execution field where a team of 4 SS members awaited them including Erich Deppner and Karl Friedrich Titho (1911-2001) futire commander of KZ Herzogenbusch.

    The method used to kill the 65-75 Men was recorded by the SS in their records as being

    ' ....were marched upto the alredy dug pits in groups and then shot in groups..'

    Several POWs were confirmed as having been shot in the neck or head by Erich Deppner in the

    '...usual manner...'.

    He also was breifly in command of Durchgangslager Westerbork and oversaw the first Deporation Transport Train which dispatched 1000 Netherland Jews of which the Majority were Children or Women to
    Auschwitz-Birkneau.
    This led to him receiving a personal letter from Reichsfurher der SS Himmler Thanking Him for his excllent work after he was relived by Albert Konrad Gemmeker in June 1943.

    After Operation Overlord took place on 6 June 1944 and the rapid liberation of Paris (25 August 1944) and then Brussels (3 September 1944), the Germans transfered from the Scheveningen Prison in the Netheralnds to KZ Herzogenbusch all of its 1500 Netherland Prisoners.
    The Prision at Scheveningen had earned the nickname locally as the Oranj Hotel or Orange Hotel due to its resdinets nearley all being members of the Netherlands Resistance Movement that had been captued alive by the Germans.

    After ariving at KZ Herzogenbusch, all These Prisoners were imprsioned inside the area refered to as the
    'Bunker' in isolation from the Camps General Population and under Noteably higher security.

    During the period of Late July through to August 1944 Erich Deppner was ordered to KZ Herzogenbusch under the orders of Adolf Hitler to oversee the execution under the Furher's Niedermachungsbefehl which was issued on 30 July 1944

    - the Execution of All Captured 'Terrorists and Sabouters' by Firing Squad.

    Due to his intimate knowledge of the Netherlands Resitance Members Erich Deppner personally made the list of those to be shot in the first batch of executions leading to the death of 450 Netherland Resistance Members during August and ending in Early September 1944 at KZ Herzogenbusch's execution area.

    He was also present and once again took part in the Excutions of the 450 Resistance Members, once more in the usual neck or head shot method which he persoanlly favoured above all else.

    Post War this Officer was spared the Netherlands desire for Justice and instead served under Reinhard Gehlen (1902-1979) as part of the Intellignce Orgainsation that was set up under his Command using the Alais Egon Dietrich and then later Ernst Borchert and finally Agent V-616.
    Throughout this period after the war the Neatherlands made over 20 Attempts to have him extradited to face his accuersers and then receive justice but all were efforts to do so were either obstructed or outright denied thanks to pressure from his new masters West Germany and the American OSS/CIA.

    He was finaly chrged with being complict in the murders of the Soviet POWs at Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort during April 1942 on 20 January 1964 in a Munich Court, after heraing his testimonary he was found Not Guilty by a Jury inside the Court Room of the District Court of Munich on 22 January 1964.

    As a Compairson in the Netherlands from 1949-1951 3 Germans that worked under the Command of Erich Deppner were charged with War Crimes, all 3 were found guilty leading to one of them being Shot by a Dutch Firing Squad and 2 Sentenced to Prision Terms

    - they were however unable to get the Chief 'Defendant' responsibile for the Crimes detailed above.

    If ever there was a better example of making a 'deal with devil' by the Allies Postwar it would be hard to find one this blatantly offensive to the a Allied Country that had suffered so much in the War.

    The Russian POWs have their own independent memorial now located at the former Polizeiliches Durchgangslager Amersfoort in the Netherlands, along with so many more names now recorded on the various memorials loacted there.

    Albert Konrad Gemmeker (1907-1982)
    Durchgangslager Westerbork Commander responsibile for approx 80 000 Jews and Other Enemies of the Reich being deported to Extermination Camps in Poland and Germany.
    Nicknamed the Polite German due to his lack of enjoyment in torture or other extreme methods while the camp commander.

    Served as Einsatzgruppen B Commander in the East Novemebr 1941-March 1943 and reported to his superior Adolf Eichmann (1906-1962) during November 1941 that his group was responsibile for 17 256 People being killed in the area of Smolensk by the usual methods, including 3 Motoriesd Vans pumping Carbon Dixoide into their rear to aid in the 'eradication of the population'.
    He was detached to serve in the Netherlands September 1943 - July 1944 as the Befehlshaber der Sicherheit der Polizei und de SD.
     
  14. diversdream

    diversdream Member

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    At First, things did not seem to be that 'bad' as all the Occupation forces behaved in an 'correct and unexpected manner', this being mainly due to the fact Adolf Hitler still saw Holland as part of his own dreams of a 'Germanic Empire', much as he wished to see the Nordic Nations of Norway and Denmark become one 'Aryan' or 'Herrenvolk' with Germany

    - so he wished the same for Holland.

    This was aided by organisations like the NSB (Nationaal Socialistische Beweging) and the NJS (Nationaal Jeugdstorm) who helped by declaring the Monarchy now abolished (now in exile in England as was Norway's and both integral parts of their own Countries 'Governments in Exile') and aided in recruiting 27 000 Dutchmen to serve in Whermacht Units

    - in particular in the Waffen SS.

    The first Dutch Volunteer was as early as 1940 and they reached their peak in January 1943 when 18 473 Enlisted in the Waffen SS alone for service in defence of the Third Reich.

    Gleichschaltung 1942

    This Period is referred to by the Germans as being the 'Gleichschaltung' or 'Enforced Conformity'

    - A German Term for the systematic destruction of All non approved Nazi Party Organisations like the Communist Party.

    Before the end of 1940 Munitions Plants were soon back in Production only this time they were making shells for Germany and in a further irony that would not have been lost on some of the 'older residents' in Tilburg the same plant that 'helped' in German production in 1914-1918 was soon doing business with this second wave of German's in exactly the same manner.
    Even the 'Missing' Dutch POWs were allowed to return back to their homes after being disarmed only a few weeks after the Dutch 'Surrender' was formally Announced.

    Things slowly continued to change

    - and not for the better for certain sections of the Dutch Population, while for others it was simply buissness as usual.

    Despite All this, the retailers in the area were doing a roaring trade due to the influx of 'German Soldiers and Girlfriends and Tourists coming from Germany'

    Some of the most popular purchases were the legendary Dutch Manufactured Choclates and also miracle of mircales

    - real Coffee!

    Also Tea and Silk Stockings became more and more popular and before long a floursihing black market was in the area

    - supportedd by their own new neighbours in the Greater German Reich

    - Belgium.

    At first it was small things like all Carrier Pigeons had to be killed or the immeadite abolishment of even more instituitions and organisations that the Reichskommissar ordered, due to them now being unacceptable to the United 'Germanic Peoples'.
    Then all Dutch Males aged 18-45 that were not serving the Reich in the Whermacht were expected to make themselves available for working in Germany as labourers or as the Germans termed it

    - 'Nederlandse Arbeitseinsatz'.

    Additionally all of the resources available in Holland were now to be put to the German People's use and these were also meant to be manned by Dutch based Arbeitseinsatz with German Supervisors.

    At first those who took part did so in a strictly voluntry manner

    - however after Operation Barbarossa and the drain of the Soviet Campagin that then resulted, to be 'complicated' further only months later by Germany Declaring war on the USA

    - the Reichsarbeitsministerium was soon forced to change this due to the need of more and more factories needing workers into a more formalised forced labour force, simmiliar in nature to that to be found in the other Countries that Germany had occupied.

    This was formalised after Reichsmarschall Hermann Goring (1893-1946) anouced it publicly being necessary during January 1942 while still in the role of the Reichswirtschaftsministerium.

    On 21 March 1942 Fritz Sauckel (1894-1946) was apointed the Generalbevollmachtigter fur den Arbeitseinsatz, he is now remembererd by the postwar world for being the largest recruiter of slave labour in modern times.
    Generalkommisar zur besonderen Verwendung Fritz Schmidt would as part of his portfolio of 'Special Tasks' report to the Generalbevollmachtigter fur den Arbeitseinsatz, after he in turn was made the Nethrerlands Leiter of the Arbeitsbereich fur Niederlanden and Generalkommissar zur besonderen Verwendung, after the accidnet that claimed his life his replacement Wilhelm Ritterbusch took on this role until the end of the war.

    After April 1942 this assignment would aslo include the role of Hauptabteilung Soziale Verwaltung, part of the earlier portfilo of Hans Fischbock

    - its task was to intensivley work on engaging the Netherlands population in the Wartime Enconomy of Germany.

    This drive commenced on 23 March 1942 with the immeadite sorting through compnies in the Netheerlands for suitable employees too be dispatched to work in the Armaments Factories inside Germany, with companies inside the Netherlands forced to 'Declare' employes that were consdiered not as essential to their production needs.
    This was supported by NSB/German Manned regional employment offices whos task it was to decied who was to go and who was not.

    In April 1942 the Germans Launched 'Holland-Aktion 1' which was aimed at recruiting a total of 30 000 Netherlands Workers for assignment to the German Steel Industries.
    This was to be followed shortly afterwads by 'Holland-Aktion 2' during September-October 1942 which had as its total 40 000 additional People assinged to the same field of labour.
    Then during Novemebr 1942 the Germans Launched the 'Rustung Programm' which saw them taking from the Netherlands yet another 35 000 People for employment inside the Reich.
    This meant that in the calender year of 1942 the Netherlands had lost a total of a little over 100 000 People to the Reich for work in various Armaments related Fields.

    In the new year of 1943, the drain continued with the Germans Launching 'Stahl-U Eisen Aktion' which commenced on 15 January 1943 and saw within as little as 8 weeks 22 000 People removed to Germany to work inside the Steel Industries.
    It should be mentioned here that the Netherlands Sujects selected for these 'Disposistions' as ordered in Berlin were more often then not able to meet their 'Totals' or even exceed them

    - this led to the people doing the choosing in Holland being far from what could ever be described as fussy with records indicating even those who were 'disabled' or 'wounded in 1940' were also being sent to work as part of these 'recruitment drives'.
    Another group snatched up by the Reich were those who had been students

    - espically if they had refused to sign their individual loylaty agreement between the Netherlands and Germany during the period directly after 1940.

    By the end of March 1943 the Germans had working in various factories throughout the Reich over 227 000 People from the Netherlands Population, with another increse taking place once more with the new year.

    During 1944 this figure again rose climbing upto 275 000 People which was now also including Netherlands POWs which had failed to agree to the terms asked by the Germasn in 1940 and in 1944-1945 a further 120 000 were also forced into the German Labour Force.

    Its worth Bearing in mind that these Numbers Excluded the Netheralnds Jewish Population or anyone else insside the Camp System whiich were also working in some areas to assist the Reich as forced labour as well, not to mention Compines in the Netherlands assisting the German War Efforts such as the electronics company Phillips or workers assigned to working ppoistions outside of Germany like the Atlantic Wall Fortifcations along France or the Concrete U-Boot/S-Boot Pens throughout all the occuppied terriortys.

    The final figure is a staggering 7.7 Million Workers that were employed insde Germany from Non-German Peoples in the period of 1939-1945 by the Germans Wartime Econmy as part of the Rustungsindustrie

    - it is now known that just over half of these were Forced Labour.
     
  15. parsifal

    parsifal Well-Known Member

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    #15 parsifal, Feb 4, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2010
    Very impressive work. Am reading with a great deal of interest
     
  16. Lynn

    Lynn New Member

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    I read this with great interest, especially the tragic story of Sgt Doyle. My uncle, F/Sgt John Charters, was on the same mission with Sgt Doyle. My grandmother was told that he was missing in action but she never gave up hope that one day he would return to her. I grew up thinking of him as a hero, especially as he was only 21 when he went missing. I'm devastated to hear this story. Do you have any information on the rest of the crew? Where did the story come from? I'd like to investigate further. Kind regards. Lynn.
     
  17. 19feildra

    19feildra New Member

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    i have joined today and i am researching my wifes uncles death on the 8th march 1945 he was in lancaster bomber serial no ng-186 operation dessau i think crashed in buttstadt we are desperatly trying to get info ,or files ect in reference to the incident. he was in 195 squadron 3 group we beleive some of the crew were murdered . his name was donald sheppard , another was f/o draper , if anyone has anything in regards of this squadron we will be very gratefull. we have done some research but we are struggling to get any kind of decent accounts. if anyone can help with advice , photos,or accounts it would help.
     
  18. Erich

    Erich the old Sage
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    #18 Erich, Sep 17, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2010
    welcome aboard

    what was the serial number - code of the Lancaster as I have a report of a loss of a 195th sqd lanc NG 186 shot down by a LW night fitghter by Georg Dr√ľnkler flying a Ju 88G-6 around 22.30 hrs

    E ~ more information please if possible on the aircraft and flight near Dessau

    I must also edit my above posting now : as yes the same Lancaster claimed but also a possiblity that it also could of been shot down by my freind Peter Spoden at 22.29 hrs 50-60km S.W. of Dessau also flying a Ju 88G-6.
     
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