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The spy organization “the Swiss way”

Historisch Geluidsarchief RUU
Time period: 1942-1945
Number of interviews: 2 (1 person)
Accessibility: for research purposes
Transcripts: partial
Period of interviews: 12 and 26 February 1969

Type interview: scientific

The collection has not yet been digitized and therefore cannot be viewed directly at Beeld & Geluid. Digitization can, however, be requested from Beeld & Geluid via:

Medium: 4 audio tapes

Title: Agent van de Zwitserse weg: het levensverhaal van Jan van Borssum Buisman

Author: Marc Couwenberg
Publisher: Walburg Pers, Zutphen, 2000

ISBN: 9789057301254

The seventy-year-old Gerard Slotemaker de Bruine spoke with interviewers Th. Minderaa, J. Rijken, R.L. Schuursma and Sj. Vellenga about his resistance work during World War II.


Slotemaker de Bruine was the son of CHU minister Jan Rudolph Slotemaker de Bruine and Cornelia de Jong. He was very active in the resistance, especially within the spy group “the Swiss Road. The Swiss Road was a common smuggling route during World War II from 1942 to June 1944, part of the Dutch-Paris underground network. Prime Minister Gerbrandy urged Reverend Visser ‘t Hooft to set up an intelligence service to enable contact between occupied Holland and the government in London. Visser ‘t Hooft met Hebe Charlotte Kohlbrugge just at that time, and so the new route was established. The route went via trustworthy persons and addresses from Holland, including Slotemaker de Bruine, to Geneva. Often couriers brought messages to Switzerland via this route that were destined for the government in London. These messages were microfilmed in the Netherlands and often hidden in clothing.


After the war, Slotemaker de Bruine became the director of the scientific bureau of the PvdA. Later he broke away from the PvdA because of the Indonesian issue. Throughout his life he maintained close ties with leading theologians and held many societally relevant functions. Between 1963 and 1967, De Bruine served in the House of Representatives on behalf of the Pacifist Socialist Party.