Geef een of meerdere zoektermen op.
Gebruik dubbele aanhalingstekens om in de exacte woordvolgorde te zoeken.

Because their hearts spoke


Omdat hun hart sprak – Geschiedenis van de georganiseerde hulp aan Joodse kinderen in Nederlands, 1942-1945

Bert-Jan Flim
Kok, Kampen, 1996
ISBN: 9789024260263


In July 1942, on the orders of the German occupiers, the systematic deportation of Dutch Jews to Poland began. Resistance to this arose among their non-Jewish fellow citizens; at first still piecemeal and improvised, later expanded and efficient. In this book, Bert Jan Flim describes how the development from nothing to a decisive organisation took place within four Dutch resistance groups who, together with a number of Jewish Amsterdammers, are referred to as ‘the child workers’. Minute accounts show how they succeeded in saving the lives of around 1,200 Jews, including almost thousands of children, by sending them into hiding with foster families outside Amsterdam. In doing so, the child workers wrote – unintentionally and mostly unconsciously – a piece of history. The methods they applied sometimes differed sky-high, but their motivation was always the same: they made this great effort and took the associated risks because their hearts spoke.


The thesis contains a description of the four organisations that were involved in this children’s work: the Utrecht Children’s Committee, the Amsterdam Student Group, the Naamloze Vennootschap (kkNVxx) and the Trouwgroep (after the illegal magazine Trouw).

Flim, in the best technique of oral history, asked the still-living protagonists the shirt off their necks to detail the ‘speaking of the heart’ in a compelling way.

Epens resistance

Opgeblazen Geulbrug bij Epen (Limburg) - mei 1940 - A.J.A. Rikkert - Collectie NIOD 65155

Bericht aan Hare Majesteit

Rosalie Sprooten

Uitgeverij Coenen, Simpelveld 1991


Rosalie Sprooten describes the resistance in southern Limburg based on interviews with people in and around her native village of Epen. It took her two-and-a-half years. “It is war history on the square kilometre,” as she says of her “Message to Her Majesty”.

It is precisely this small-scale approach that makes the book so captivating. Moreover, Sprooten has a good sense of detail and a particularly lucid writing style. “Oral history” of the highest order: taken up just in time, because soon the eyewitnesses will have died. The stories now fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Anyone familiar with the region and the mentality of the people will find many points of recognition.


In Bericht aan Hare Majesteit, Sprooten deals with the rounding up of the leaders of the resistance of the Circle-Gulpen of the National Organisation (LO) during “the Battle of Wittem”. That raid by the SD would result in ten prominent South Limburgers ending up in concentration camps including chaplain Houben. Of them, only two returned alive.