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Tragedy and Betrayal in the Dutch Resistance

Title: Tragedy and Betrayal in the Dutch Resistance
Author: Samuel de Korte
Publisher: Pen & Sword
ISBN: 978-1-52678-498-8

These are the very personal stories behind 5 men who were shot, executed, in the closing stages of WW2. A 138-page hard-cover book from Pen & Sword.
The author discovered that one of his family members had been shot for being part of the Resistance in Holland during WW2 and so was inspired to investigate further. It centres around the stories of 5 men who were executed by the SD (Sicherheitsdienst) in the middle of Meppelerstraatweg, a road in the Dutch city of Zwolle, on the 31st March 1945. The traffic was stopped, the 5 men shot, and their bodies left in the street as an example to others. Just 2 weeks later the city was liberated, but these men did not live to see it. The book tells us about the lives of the men, what they actually did before and during the war, their time imprisoned in the Huis van Bewaring and when they were taken out and shot. It goes on to tell us of their families and how they coped with the aftermath, and even what became of those who had betrayed them to the SD along with those who ordered the shootings, those who carried out the order and even some of the passers by who had been stopped on the road while the shooting took place.
This is a rather sad story, so close to the liberation of the city after 5 years of occupation. The author managed to track down the stories of his relative, Wilhelmus van Dijk, one of the 5 men now remembered by a memorial in Zwolle, very close to the actual spot where they were killed in 1945. Not only the stories of these people and their families, but a good selection of archive photos of the main characters and their families. Well worth reading to get an idea of just what civilians and their families endured while under occupation during WW2.
Thanks to Pen & Sword for the review copy.


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