When the Nazis steamed into the Netherlands in May 1940, Hannie Schaft and Truus and Fredio Ferstiegen were 19, 16 and 14, respectively.
As for the Oferstegen sisters, her mother, Trizin, left her father many years ago. Freddie said: “She was fed up one day. We lived on a big ship in Harlem, but my dad couldn’t make money and paid nothing to the barge. But it was an ugly divorce. He sang a French farewell song from the bow of the ship when we left. He loved us, but then met him so often Wasn’t there. “
Immediately after the Nazis arrived in town, Freddie continued despite the danger. “During the war, we had a Jewish couple living with us, which is why my sister and I knew what was going on …”
At the same time, the mother involved her daughters in the rather dangerous task of posting and distributing anti-Nazi and communist literature throughout the city.
Given their brave activity, a phone call by one Fran van der Wiel in 1941 quickly spread rumors of resistance that girls might accept participation. Freddie said:He can ask us [to join the resistance].. And he did … she was fine with that. “”
She also states that her mother simply demanded that they “always be human,” no matter what resistance asked them to do.
Regarding the personal decision to join the sisters, Truus said:
Such a war is a very raw experience. While I was biking, I saw the Germans picking up innocent people from the street, pushing them against the wall and shooting them. I was forced to watch, which caused me such enormous anger, such disgust … you can have any political beliefs or completely oppose the war, At that moment you are just a human being facing something very cruel. Shooting innocent people is murder. If you experience this, you will find that if people commit treason, such as exchanging a 4-year-old Jewish child for 35 guilders, you are justified against it.
Needless to say, they all wanted it, but at that point they didn’t fully understand everything they were required to do. She states: “We were thinking of starting a kind of secret army. The man who came to our door said we would get military training, and they gave us one or two Someone taught us to shoot, and we learned to march through the woods. At that time, we were about seven. Honey hasn’t joined the group yet and we were the only girls. “
Indeed, initially, due to their age and gender, authorities paid little attention to them. Therefore, they were natural message runners among the Resistance members and were ideally suitable for smuggling or stealing identification cards to help various Jews escape. They were also sometimes tasked with transporting weapons and even helping escort the Jews to hiding places-they blended well with the girls, and authorities as a whole were young girls walking with their children. I didn’t doubt. She was also often used on reconnaissance missions, thanks to Freddie’s very youthful appearance, especially when she trimmed her hair with a pigtail, no one paid attention to her.
However, from this kind of task, things escalated and were tasked with helping to burn down various enemy facilities. In these cases, the girl was tasked with occasionally flirting with the guards while other Resistance members slipped in and set the fire.
In 1943, the sisters were joined by Hannie Schaft, the third female member of their resistance cell-a woman who became one of the most famous Dutch resistance members of all of World War II, and she. The activity of Hitler himself saw her marked for death.
When the Nazis invaded, Honey, then 19 years old, was studying international law, especially human rights law, at the University of Amsterdam. Unfortunately for her, she refused to sign a declaration of loyalty to Germany and was immediately given boots from the university-requirements to remain a student and 3/4 of the remaining students. That’s all. Given her choice to study human rights law at school without knowing anything about her, and the activities Axis is doing in the country, she joined the resistance almost immediately.
Tentatively after the war began, Honey, who was assigned to the same Resistance Cell as Truus and Freddie, worked with the Resistance in a variety of abilities and innumerable missions to learn German and support her activities.
Not surprisingly, the three girls became best friends, frequently teamed up for the rest of the war, and their mission was extended to a few women who were tasked with directly eliminating enemy targets. ..
Their great advantage over male compatriots was that their age and gender allowed them to approach enemy soldiers without suspicion. Therefore, the girls were eventually trained with weapons and, as Freddie said, set to “clear” the enemy.
As for the number of people they killed (the question they are often asked), they never revealed, the sister stock’s answer to that question was, “You never ask the soldier how many he killed. did not.
Perhaps their most famous way was to persuade Mark to flirt and join one of them for a walk. For example, in one example, their target was an SS soldier they scouted, and when he entered a restaurant to eat, a slightly drunk acting Truus entered and began a conversation. At some point she suggested that he would like to walk in the woods with her-the prospect he apparently enthusiastically accepted.
But when they got there, Freddie said:
Then they came across someone — it seemed like a coincidence, but he was one of us — and that friend told Truus: “Girl, you should be here. I know there is no such thing. “They apologized, looked back, and went away. And the ammunition was fired, so the man didn’t know what had hit him. They had already dug a hole, but we weren’t allowed to be there for that part.
Not only did they lure unsuspecting enemy soldiers and Dutch collaborators to their death, but sometimes they killed them altogether. As Truus once said, after being frightened to see a Dutch SS soldier grab a baby from a child’s family and hit it against a wall. My father and sister had to watch over. They were clearly hysterical. The child was dead … I pulled out the gun and shot him. Right there. This was not an issue. But I don’t regret it. “
At other times, they were simply riding their bikes, Freddie with a Truus in the front and a hidden gun in the back. When they passed the mark, Freddie pulled out his gun and shot him if no one was there. After this, Truus set foot as soon as possible. Once invisible, they went all over the world again to just a few young girls who went out to ride their bikes.
At other times, they followed Mark’s house and then came to knock, again with their young and innocent look, helping to ensure that their target guards were lowered when they killed him. rice field.
In addition to this, the trio also participated in bombing and other sabotage activities and refused one mission that was asked to kidnap three children, Reach and former Austrian Prime Minister Arthur Seyss Inkart. It has been reported. The children were then to be used by the commissioner to release certain prisoners in exchange for a safe return. If he refuses, the children will be killed. “Resistance fighters do not kill children,” said Truus, who refused the mission.
When it comes to honey, the two young girls were often overlooked, but she wasn’t so lucky with her bright red hair and the many missions she took to help her stand out. Authorities quickly caught up and she was initially marked as a “red-haired girl.” As the heat increased and Hitler himself ordered more efforts to capture her, she began to dye her hair black and renamed her. Unfortunately, her real name was accidentally revealed to a masked Nazi operative working as a nurse. Following this, her family was detained. Eventually, they were let go when it became clear that she knew nothing about her activities, where she was.
However, Axis finally welcomed her on March 21, 1945, when she was captured in a copy of the communist newspaper de Waarheid at a random military checkpoint. She was tortured for the next few weeks, but apparently did not break. Given that the war was in its final stages, she might have let go of her as her bright red hair grew and survived without the dye to keep her roots black. When the Germans understood who she was for this reason, the 24-year-old Honey was to be executed soon-just 18 days before the Germans withdrew from the Netherlands, sentenced on April 17, 1945. Was executed.
Apparently rebellious to the end, she fell when two soldiers tasked with killing her shot her, but both were reported to have missed the mark of murder. Her last words are reported to be ridiculing soldiers, and after the first volley, “Idiot! Shoot well!”
2014 Oberstegen sisters.
As for the sisters, they survived the war, but suffered from post-traumatic stress disorders, Truss dressed in art, and Freddie said she soon married and started a family as a way to deal with it. Her son Remi said, “She … shot people … but she hated it, and she hated herself to do it.”Freddie also said, “I shot [them] I myself and I saw them fall. And what’s inside us at that moment? You want to help them get up. “
The truss added: “It was tragic and very difficult, and we then cried about it. We didn’t feel it was suitable for us … I wasn’t born to kill Do you know what it does to your soul? … One loses everything. It poisons the beautiful things in life. “
Eventually, the two sisters lived to the age of 92, Truus died in June 2016, and Freddie followed her in September 2018, the day before her 93rd birthday.
If you want to know more about this trio of bad women, you can find more in a recent book by Sophie Poldermans, a friend of the Oversteegen sisters. Seduce and kill the Nazis: Honey, Truth, Freddie: World War II Dutch Resistance Heroine
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