Dutch Youth Groups: World War II--Personal Experences

Figure 1.--

A Dutch reader writes, "You are right the way you explain the difference between being a member of the Jeugdstorm and joining the German military in occupied Holland. Being an "officer" (I would describe it as a "leader") was not a paid job and it had nothing to do with joining the German army. Of course, the German authorities put a lot of pressure on older members of the Jeugdstorm to join the Waffen SS. There always were posters on the walls, ads in the newspapers and propaganda movies in the cinemas to get young men into the Dutch branch of the Waffen SS. The Germans needed more and more soldiers in the Soviet Union to fight "the barbaric Bolshevists" (for folk and fatherland, as the NSB slogan was), but nobody in the Netherlands was really forced into the German army. (Large numbers were, however, conscripted for labor service in the Reich.) As a boy I knew every family in our street. There were two NAZI households. None of the children joined the Jeugdstorm, but two boys joined the Waffen SS. One came back after the war and promptly was interned by the Government. The other one died in Russia. One girl of an other family, who slept with German soldiers, was during the wild liberation days forced on an open car, shaven bald and displayed as a whore together with other women in the village. Again, a friend of mine from another family in the street who was a baker was sent to Germany to work. He was lucky that he could work in his own trade as a baker in Stettin on the Baltic coast. He liked it there, because he was allowed to live with the baker's family. After the war he even sent packages to that family in Germany, because they were expelled by the Poles in 1945 and had lost everything. Next door was a very anti-NAZI family. The son and the daughter worked for the underground and the young man was caught and executed 2 weeks before the end of the war, very tragic. The other people were more or less silent and survived the war without too many problems, except for two elderly ladies who died of starvation. We all were skin and bones. I went to school until November 1944. The school closed. Most children no longer had shoes and of course little to eat. Before that there were about six boys and girls who were members of the Jeugdstorm. They sometimes even wore their uniforms to class. Another boy belonged to "De Jonge Wacht", a catholic youth organisation. He had a green shirt and black shorts. Other boys used to be boy scouts and were wearing their uniform shorts with the belt "be prapared". Occasionally there were fights, but in general the NAZIs were ignored. We resumed our studies after the liberation. There was an other family, catholics with many children. Some of the children looked different and we later heard that they were Jewish. They survived the war. [Stueck]


Stueck, Rudi. E-mail message, May 1, 2006.


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Created: 11:38 PM 5/1/2006
Last updated: 11:38 PM 5/1/2006