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Young girl used this trick to carry out Nazis in the second world War

(Credit: Courtesy of the National Hannie Schaft Foundation)

When she was just 14, Freddie Oversteegen left her home in the Netherlands to join a Dutch resistance group where she learned how to shoot Nazis.

It was 1940 and Freddie, together with her sister Truus and Hannie Schaft — quickly became an integral part of the Dutch Resistance and developed a special way to catch the enemy off guard.

The group’s youthful appearance, especially Freddie’s, the youngest of the three, allowed them to communicate with the guards without raising suspicion, and lull them into a false sense of security.

Freddie died earlier this month, on September 5, 2018, a day before her 93rd birthday. She was never as well known as Truus and Hannie, but her efforts have helped saved the lives of countless Jewish people during the second world War.

Born in 1925, Freddie was raised with a strong belief in the fight for justice, because she and her sister were raised by their single, working-class mother in Haarlem, a city near Amsterdam.

Their mother considered herself a communist, and before the war broke out, she hid the Jewish refugees from Amsterdam and Germany in the hull of a boat that they used to live. Later did the same in their family home.

(Credit: Courtesy of the National Hannie Schaft Foundation)

“Before the war started in the Netherlands, we had a number of people from Lithuania hidden in the hold of the ship,” she said in an interview with Vice in 2016.

“And during the war we had a Jewish couple living with us, that is why my sister and I knew a lot about what was going on.”

When the Nazis invaded the Netherlands in 1940, the girls with their mother in the plasterers,-anti-Nazi-posters in the city warning men not to work in Germany, an act that they could have killed if they were caught.

When they invaded, it was the first time Freddie experienced the horror of the Hitler-movement first-hand.

“I remember how people were taken from their homes. The Germans were banging on the doors with the butts of their rifles — that made so much noise, that you want to hear in the whole neighborhood,” she said.

“And they would always scream — it was quite frightening.”

Their efforts to fight against the Germans, were noticed by a commander of the Haarlem Council of Resistance, and when Frankie was 14 and She was 16, he knocked on the door and asked their mother if her daughters can take part in the resistance.

She said that she, like the girls, but it was later revealed in an interview with anthropologist Ellis Jonker, that the sisters do not know the exact role that they would play until they started with their training.

“Only later he came to tell us what we would actually need to do: sabotage of bridges and railways,” She told Jonker, in an interview included in her book’ Under Fire: the Women And the second world War. “And learn to shoot, shoot Nazis,” she added. “I remember that my sister said,” Well, that is something I have never done before!'”

One of the tasks of the teens were given was to flirt with Nazi guards in bars, and lead them into secluded parts of the forest under the guise of seeking a more private space to be alone.

But instead of a passionate embrace, the men were met with a bullet.

According to Jonker, Freddie was the first to shoot a “Nazi traitor.”

None of the guards suspected that this innocent-looking teens would be a deadly part of the anti-German movement, particularly because the Dutch Resistance was regarded as a man with his efforts, and the female members were not involved in the killing.

There were some examples of women who actually executed Nazi collaborators themselves, which is the reason why their seduction game worked so well.

Freddie and Truus soon along with Hannie, a former law student with fiery red hair. Together, they blew up bridges and railways with dynamite, shot Nazi soldiers during the ride their bikes and the smuggling of Jewish people in the whole country and from the concentration camps.

While the young women believed in what they were doing was for the greater good, the tasks still weighed heavily on them.

“It was tragic and very difficult and we cried about it afterwards,” She told Jonker.

“We don’t feel that it fits us, it never fits everyone, unless they are real criminals … lose everything. The poison of the beautiful things in life.”

All three girls shot to kill, but they never revealed how much the Nazis and Dutch collaborators killed them.

The young women were best friends and successfully carried out numerous acts of sabotage and assassination missions together.

Freddie and Truus both survived the war, but a few weeks before the conflict ended, Hannie was captured.

They had a purpose after being observed during an attempt to murder, with the Germans to refer to her as ‘the girl with the red hair”.

In March 1945 Hannie was arrested by the German soldiers during the transportation of the underground paper, with a gun on her bike. She was interrogated, tortured, and killed.

When the war ended, the sisters found ways to deal with the trauma of what they endured, as well as the loss of their best friend. She turned to art and spoke openly about their time in the resistance.

Freddie was less inclined to share her own experiences, tells Vice she is captured by the “married and babies”.

During the greater part of their lives, the women were not recognised for the role they played in the war.

It was not until 2014, when the Dutch prime minister Minister Mark Rutte awarded Freddie and Truus the Mobilisation War Cross, that the sisters were officially honored for their acts of resistance.

This story was previously published in the news.com.au.

 

 

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