Comments: 338 • Responses: 100  • Date: 

giantfuckingbears22 karma

How old were you when this happened?

send_you_to_billys65 karma

I assume you mean when I started working for the militia. My older brother Hank gave me a package in my bike one morning in 1943 when I was 13 and told me not to open it, but to deliver it at an address as quickly as possible. I rode my bike through the streets of Amsterdam past tanks and German checkpoints without a care in the world. When I arrived at the address, I couldn't contain my curiosity any longer. I opened the package and saw three German pistols, likely stolen from Nazi soldiers. If I had been stopped or searched, I would have been executed in the streets. That was when I started working for the Militia

AngeloPappass31 karma

What did you say to Hank when you saw him next? Seems like a bit of a dick brother move.

send_you_to_billys79 karma

"You fucking guy!"

(Actual quote)

giantfuckingbears8 karma

That's some crazy shit

send_you_to_billys14 karma

Yes, indeed!

uRmeyda6 karma


send_you_to_billys17 karma

OP's grandson here.

My Opa has pride, and it was hard enough getting him onto the idea of me putting this on the internet. There's stories he will tell me, and stories he won't. This stuff is still fresh for him. He's had 2 strokes and his memories of 65 years ago are his best. Also, he's getting pretty old so idk if he would have the time either

GooglyGooGoo10 karma

I was recently fortunate enough to be asked to copy type the (WWII) war diary of a now 94 year old man. It was incredible to be able to read first-hand all about his life and what the world was like back then. You could even just get your Opa to tell stories and record him talking. What a wonderful and rich history you could have to listen to and to pass on to future generations. Respect to your Opa for telling his story on the internet.

send_you_to_billys18 karma

Thank you. It means alot to him.

I have aspirations to become a filmmaker one day and I would like to tell a story of the Dutch role during WWII, as i feel they might be a little underrepresented in their struggle. I'm writing all his stories down so I can write a screenplay one day.

Umbrac11 karma

If you can understand Dutch, I recommend Zwartboek, one of the better Dutch movies on the Netherlands during Nazi occupation (directed by Paul Verhoeven).

send_you_to_billys3 karma

I will definitely watch it, thank you! I was sure that there had been Dutch films made about the occupation, so thank you for the reference!

Brillie3 karma

There were no Dutch named 'Hank' back then. Should be 'Henk'.

boozehoundabt123 karma

The grandson Anglicized it. He isn't Dutch.

send_you_to_billys2 karma

Thank you

AngeloPappass19 karma

Where were you the day that the war was declared over? How did you feel when that happened?

send_you_to_billys30 karma

The war didn't end for us until US soldiers entered Amsterdam and cleared out he remaining Nazis. When we did start hearing whispers that the war was over, we celebrated, mostly in cellars with a small bottle of wine if we could afford one. It was the first time we felt hope in a long time

We celebrated, albeit quietly.

nimrodihnio14 karma

I have read quite extensively of this period due to having a lot if Dutch friends and have not read or seen anything about the US army on Northern Holland and it was the Canadians forces who liberated Amsterdam. Is that who your grandfather meant?

send_you_to_billys14 karma

I think so, I only get my information from him. It might offend you, but he might have mistaken the Canadian soldiers for American. All the same, he offers his thanks :)

fuckquebec6 karma

Were the Canadian soldiers good to you? Quite a few dutch families migrated Nova Scotia (my home) after the war and have done really well as farmers. I had no idea about the starvation they must have gone through. Thank you for your actions and story. I'm so sorry for your loss and pain.

send_you_to_billys8 karma

Thank you for your contribution from a Canadian point of view! If i substitute what my Opa says about the Americans, he holds the Canadians and their actions in extremely high regard for their help.

Brillie0 karma

What a crock of shit.

send_you_to_billys1 karma

How so?

AngeloPappass15 karma

How do you feel when you hear people denying the holocaust ever happened?

send_you_to_billys26 karma

I am not Jewish, but I do feel great sympathy towards the Jews as my people were slaughtered by Germans as well. Anyone who denies it is a fool, as I would feel disgusted if anyone questioned the sacrifice the Dutch people had to endure as well.

yawningangel15 karma

I read somewhere that the netherlands was a divided nation during the war.

They had the highest per capita membership of the SS and also the highest per capita membership of the resistance. Did your grandfather notice this divide at the time?

Also like to say that my grandfather dropped into Nijmegan as a pioneer during the war .when it started turning bad he was hidden from the germans by a regular dutch family,as he would have been classed as a sabateur they no doubt saved his life.

It was the braveness of ordinary folk like yourself that allow me to be here today,so from the bottom of my heart...

Thank you.

send_you_to_billys18 karma

I'm afraid that I was just a young boy trying to live day to day, but I did notice many Nazi sympathizers emerging, trying to win respect by informing on resistance members. The resistance always had a present for them, usually the "Cold Bath," in which two militia men would run out from an alleyway perpendicular to the dam and shove the spy into the freezing water.

On the behalf of the Dutch people, I thank you. I'm happy he survived.

yawningangel1 karma


send_you_to_billys1 karma

Wow,,, what an amazing story! thanks for sharing. your contribution to this AMA means alot.

fmaucfnfl15 karma

what was the scariest moment during your time in the militia?

send_you_to_billys72 karma

My scariest moment, apart from running guns past Nazi checkpoints would have been the time i was almost sent to a concentration camp (even though im not jewish) i was walking with a friend of mine through the snow one day (it was a brutal winter) and we were so hungry. We were on our way to a grain shed where we might be able to get some bread. I was so exhausted. I legs fell from underneath me and was facedown in the snow. It felt so good and i just wanted to lie there. I fellt my friend pulling my arm and yelling for me to get up but i coudnt. I was so tires. Then he told me "stay still Herman. Dont move" so i listened. He ran off somewhere and i heard an engine coming close to where i was lying. I heard German voices and my heart stopped. Someone hopped out of the vehicle and walked over. I held my breath, i was so terrified. The man nudged me with his boot and yelled in german. He lifted me by the arm and i went limp, playing dead. He cocked his rifle and yelled again. Then the driver yelled at the soldier and he went back in the truck. I waited until the truck was out of earshot and heard from my friend who had been hiding that the truck was full of young boys like myself, headed to the camps. The guard was about to shoot me when he was told not to waste ammunition. Id never felt so lucky in my life

convothought25 karma

Wow, that is crazy! Thank you so much for your service!

send_you_to_billys21 karma

Haha, thank you for your question!

plapcap13 karma

Felt my pulse quicken reading that...

send_you_to_billys22 karma

The same thing happened to me, facedown in the snow with a Einsatzgruppen's boot two feet from my head.

Evan_Th14 karma

What motivated you to work for the Underground? Was it merely the fact that the Nazis had invaded your country, or did their atrocities (such as their slave labor and the Holocaust) play a role in that? Or did you think much of those ideological motivations at all?

Also, much more trivially, I read a historical fiction book which mentioned that the Dutch Home Army officially had a blue uniform which (of course) they didn't wear openly until the war was over. Was that at all correct?

send_you_to_billys22 karma

My older brother Hank got me involved first by tricking me into running guns for him. i told the story in my first reply. The Dutch people were very territorial of their country and did not hesitate to fight back against the Nazis. My brother Hank was a revolutionary, and was not afraid of the Nazis. In keeping with your question, my family was not Jewish, but due to the amount of Dutch militiamen, we were almost in as much danger as being killed as civilians as the Jews. We cared little much of the ideology, as these Germans were very cruel and we just wanted to survive.

The blue uniform was present as a sign of alliegence to Holland, but would normally be worn as smaller articles as clothing, as to not arise suspicion.

Evan_Th9 karma

I mean, what motivated you to keep working for the resistance after you learned what Hank was doing? Was it just to help your brother, or did you have some other ideological reason?

(And thanks for explaining the blue uniform; that detail's been nagging at me ever since I read that book!)

send_you_to_billys24 karma

I suppose as a young boy i was caught up in the danger and adventure of it all. Biking 5 kilometers every second day for food became tiresome and i wanted to invest my life in helping my country liberate itself, rather than live in subsistance. I hope i answered your question :)

boozehoundabt124 karma

In the Dutch Resistance, the resistance fighters ate quite well. My father said he never went hungry.

Very different from the general population. Especially in regards to Hunger Winter

send_you_to_billys13 karma

The only members of my family who were resistance was myself and my brother, Hank. Hank brought some food home for us, but we were a family of 9 children. Hank was a father to us but could only bring us so much food from the resistance. Do you understand, boozehoundabt12?

boozehoundabt126 karma

Yes. I have listened to my father closely on the few occasions he spoke about it. Were you in Amsterdam? Did you know my fahter in /48 because the odds are you were both on the same ship with Edit: sorry thought was pm'íng. Removing names of third parties to respect their privacy.

send_you_to_billys3 karma

My Opa is not amazing with names, but I promise to ask him about the names when he is feeling up to it :) thanks for your contribution, boozehound!

thegrimredditor1 karma

Regardless of if the two met, the mere possibility reminds me how small the world truly is even in a world of 7,000,000,000+ people.

send_you_to_billys2 karma

I agree :)

nimrodihnio-6 karma

Are you thinking something's not quite right with this AMA? There is some glaring mistakes on detail and claiming to be at the massacre on Dam square is really unbelievable.

send_you_to_billys4 karma

excuse me? if you think there's any discrepancies, have a look at these. Also, I'm getting all these details from my 83 year old grandfather. I just wanted him to share his story.





aosky412 karma

Did you ever kill a nazi/ nazi supporter? If so, did you feel justified because he was a nazi? Or do you live with the guilt of having killed someone?

send_you_to_billys19 karma

I never had the pleasure of doing so, but my brother Hank did. He never talked about it, and after this he was moved higher up the hierarchy of the Militia, and situations between us became a bit more distant and similar to shutting the door at the end of "The Godfather." I was just an arms runner, an errand boy. My older brother was seen as a hero.

animesekai6 karma

I'm assuming he helped fight off the Nazis. What did he do exactly that made him a hero?

send_you_to_billys8 karma

My Opa became known as a courier, who would help deliver resistance food to starving Dutch families who had no militia connections. These people saw my grandfather as a hero as they ended their hunger (even for a few hours) and made them feel a bit better, when no one would

uRmeyda12 karma


send_you_to_billys12 karma

I was never in a commanding opportunity, but we all knew the rules. Don't get caught, and deny all involvement. most of us were silent operators, friends of friends, looking for work. The best advice i can give is put nothing on paper, nothing official, that way theres no proof and plausible deniability for all.

uRmeyda8 karma


send_you_to_billys8 karma

On the topic of plausible deniability, I mean nothing written down that could lead my to our families and put their lives in jeopardy.

Some, but most not.

unomascerveza11 karma

When you were working with the militia back in Holland, what were your views of the German citizens? Did you think they were just like the Nazis? Also did your views of the German citizens change after the war?

send_you_to_billys19 karma

OP's grandson here, ill answer this, as my Opa (dutch for grandfather) can get a little bit overboard with this kind of question.

He didnt care for them much during the war, but afterwards, even today, my grandfather holds a lot of hatred for Germany and the German people. Apoligies to any german redditors, i dont share this belief. I think its sad that he hasnt resolved his differences, but if almost your whole family was dead because of Nazis, i suppose i would feel similarly

convothought10 karma

Did the Nazi's hurt his parents and siblings? I knew he said he was afraid of getting hurt, but I didn't realize they did hurt them.

send_you_to_billys20 karma

He blames them for their greed. The Nazis stole all the food, heating, firewood, leaving nothing for his family (or the rest of Holland) most of his family died from starvation. He talks about the hunger A LOT.

cptnnick13 karma

In the Netherlands the final winter of German occupation is known as the Hunger Winter. While the Nazis confiscated just about anything in the country in the sense of food, metal and fuel, the Dutch were left to starve. People used the wooden planks in between tram trails to heat their homes, and would quite literally eat anything to help against the widespread starvation in the cities.

send_you_to_billys14 karma

Exactly, although it felt like every winter could be called the hunger winter. Hell, every day we were hungry.

CityDweller777-9 karma

So what's your Opa's opinion about the Dutch stealing from the people in their colony in Indonesia?

send_you_to_billys9 karma

My Opa was a revolutionary during the war. Afterwards, he didn't talk about Dutch foreign policy that much, as you can imagine.

He never returned to Holland after leaving following the war.

CityDweller777-18 karma

Sorry, I should not have to imagine as this is an AMA.

He hates krauts etc for what their government did, yet his own government was guilty of theft, murder and ethnic cleansing before, during and after the war.

He can hardly be called a revolutionary if he merely tried to restore an imperial system that benefited his own ethnic/linguistic group.

send_you_to_billys11 karma

Really? Tell me this, buddy. Would you sit idly by and let your family starve? Would you sit idly by and watch a terrifying force destroy everything you loved and everything you knew? Or would you roll over in the gutter and die, just to prove a point, that you disagree with policies and actions that you have absolutely no control over? My Opa would never agree with any policies that constricted rights of others. How can you say that he is wrong just because he wanted to ensure the survival of his family?

Why_So_Serious_Aah6 karma

Hey, shitstick, this man was thirteen years old when his country was ransacked and is willing to talk about it. Can you be less of a jerkoff? He had nothing to do with any of that shit. Show some decorum, idiot.

send_you_to_billys6 karma

My Opa dealt with Nazis on a daily basis, he says he doesn't care for this idiot so I wouldn't worry about it but thanks

Why_So_Serious_Aah2 karma

Well, I just don't like people like him doing things like that. It would be like somebody accusing my grandad of something that happened in the Spanish-American War when he was a kid. That said, this is for your Opa.

I'm only 34, but in many ways I was raised by my father and my grandad (WWII sailor) to have the attitude that, "If you beat me, you'll earn it, and it won't be easy." Thank you so much for your service and not being defeated in the face of massive odds!

send_you_to_billys1 karma

My Opa thanks you!

convothought10 karma

How did you rebuild your life after the Nazi's left? Especially with your family gone?

send_you_to_billys21 karma

Holland stayed occupied for weeks after the third Reich collapsed. US soldiers were closing in to liberate Amsterdam so we had lots of secret celebrations. The Nazis were acting strange, we noticed, like they were sad or something. When word reached us that the war was over we had a celebration on May 7th 1945 in Dam Square. Unbeknownst to us, a group of Kriegsmarine Soldiers were getting drunk on a third floor balcony adjacent the Square. They were obviously upset and began firing down upon the celebrations. 20 dutch men, women and children were killed, and 119 were injured. It was a sad day.

So after they finally left, I met my wife, Amy, at a dancing class of all places. We decided to move to Australia, as we wanted to get as far away from Europe as possible.

convothought11 karma

Oh my...that's so sad. That also sounds very traumatic for you emotionally. How did you deal with the sadness and pain emotionally?

send_you_to_billys13 karma

By the time of the massacre, I was quite dulled and numb to the emotional pain and suffering, and we dealt with it. People died everyday by the Nazis hand. It makes me sad to talk about it, but we did survive.

AngeloPappass7 karma

That's horrific. I hope they struggled to live with those actions for their remaining years

send_you_to_billys19 karma

Remaining days, actually. Normally the Nazis would execute 10 civilians for every Nazi killed. But we didn't care anymore. A group of militiamen kidnapped them from there room that night and drove them in a truck into the fields. We didn't see them again.

Eattalot10 karma

What was the most exciting thing you did in the militia? And the most important thing you did in the militia?

send_you_to_billys17 karma

The most exciting thing would have been running guns (when i was aware that i was doing it!!). The rush of danger would stay with me the whole day. I think that running guns was important but delivering food was more rewarding to me. My famoly was lucky because we knew someone who lived in the countryside with a shop and farm who would help us if we were hungry.

theultimatefanboy10 karma

What was the pot culture like in 1940s Amsterdam? Did it change much under Nazi control?

send_you_to_billys12 karma

It was not a common thing back then as it is now. I do not like it or partake in it, but it was a bit of a luxury for Militia commanders!

Snarfox10 karma

Did your parents know what you were doing? Would they have approved?

send_you_to_billys16 karma

My father died of stomach cancer before the war and my mother suffered a stroke shortly after. She was in a vegitative state for the rest of her life, so i was essentially a orphan. I doubt my parents would have approved of what i was doing but we were doing the only things we knew how to do in order to survive.

Snarfox12 karma

That was an impressively depressing answer even given the context of Nazi-occupied Europe. I respect the sentiment of self-preservation though, speaking to other WWII vets over the years the answer of "we were doing what we had to do to protect ourselves/family/etc" is a common theme. Thank you.

send_you_to_billys7 karma

Thank you too, Snarfox.

atomicrobomonkey8 karma

You stated that you started in the militia when you were 13. Was it common for kids that young to help? Also were kids less likely to be searched and maybe thats why they had you run the guns?

send_you_to_billys14 karma

Exactly. Kids were easier to persuade and were often ignored by checkpoints as the Nazis knew they didn't have any money to steal

atomicrobomonkey3 karma

Thanks for the reply. I've always been kind of history/ww2 buff so you just gave a cool new piece of info about kids in that era.

send_you_to_billys5 karma

happy to help :)

CapnRadical8 karma


send_you_to_billys2 karma

The war didn't end for us until US soldiers entered Amsterdam and cleared out he remaining Nazis. When we did start hearing whispers that the war was over, we celebrated, mostly in cellars with a small bottle of wine if we could afford one. It was the first time we felt hope in a long time We celebrated, albeit quietly.

This is the description I gave to a previous question. Hope I helped :)

AngeloPappass8 karma

Why did you move to Australia? What business did you start?

send_you_to_billys13 karma

We wanted to move as far away from Europe as possible. I started an auto-electric business called HB (Herman Blommestein) Auto. We fix trucks. The business is now run by my son Joe.

iZef8 karma

You are incredibly brave, I just want to thank you for helping those who needed it most. You are a true hero.

send_you_to_billys11 karma

I did what I could. All other members of the Militia have earned the respect that you give me today, alive or dead. but thank you :)

convothought7 karma

Have you ever been honored for your service? You certainly deserve it!

send_you_to_billys26 karma

I have been honored, by the people i have aided in wartime. Their thanks was more than enough :)

Daaninator7 karma

On what aspects of your daily life did the war have the biggest impact?

send_you_to_billys12 karma

Hunger. Fear.

norrob7 karma


send_you_to_billys19 karma

I think anyone who thinks like that should have a look at history and see how the world has responded in the past.

I don't know a lot about the man, but my grandson just showed me a photo of him and i think he looks like a bobblehead

AngeloPappass6 karma

What impact do you think your efforts had on the war?

send_you_to_billys9 karma

They were probably minuscule, but to us, every person we helped felt monumental, and we are content knowing that we were a people that did not give the Nazis an easy ride.

Why_So_Serious_Aah5 karma

I'm only 34, but in many ways I was raised by my father and my grandad (WWII sailor) to have the attitude that, "If you beat me, you'll earn it, and it won't be easy." Thank you so much for your service and not being defeated in the face of massive odds!

send_you_to_billys1 karma

and the same to you sir!

AngeloPappass5 karma

Have you been back to Holland or Europe since you left? How was that experience if so?

send_you_to_billys13 karma

I never returned. The pain is too much, unfortunately.

Lumburgg5 karma

What happened to the militia after the war? How was it disbanded? How did membership play into the future of people's lives?

send_you_to_billys5 karma

I left as soon as I could from Holland, but from what I hear, many of the members stayed in touch for years after. Many people stayed as friends, as brothers. My brother, Hank, who got me into the militia in the first place, stayed in Holland and died in 1987.

WeCameAsBears5 karma

How did the rest of the world react to Pearl Harbor? I've always wondered what another countries perspective is on that. I've only seen how it effected us as Americans. Also, thank you for taking the time to do this AMA. Cheers, from California!

send_you_to_billys5 karma

Opa here.

I was just a boy when Pearl Harbour happened, and the Nazis had invaded my country, so unfortunately we didn't know alot about what was happening in the outside world. After the war, I heard alot more about the specifics of the war with the Japanese, and my heart goes out to any families affected by WWII, especially Pearl Harbour

laffey815 karma

thanks for your service

send_you_to_billys3 karma

Much appreciated :) I'm happy to have played my part.

Omgcorgitracks4 karma

No way way! Holland Netherlands huh? I'm from Holland America!

So did you help many Jewish people stay safe? Did you ever meet a high ranking Nazi guy?

send_you_to_billys14 karma

The Nazis all looked the same to me. Cruel, mean, like bullies in a playground. Since Holland was quite dangerous for Nazis due to the Militia, most high ranking officers did not showcase their rank, for fear of assassination. As for the Jews, many were picked up and taken away with non Jewish citizens. This omnipresent danger made us fear for out lives and made us feel very vulnerable. We just wanted to survive. Our neighbor was discovered for harbouring Jews in his attic and was subsequently shot in the street. You can understand our fears.

Omgcorgitracks4 karma

They didn't make you go out and watch him get shot did they? I love WWII history wise never thought I'd actually get to ask questions from someone who was apart of the war, thanks for doing this! Also did you do more gun running for your brother after the first time?

send_you_to_billys12 karma

Yes, they assembled the whole neiborhood so they could make an example of him. After i got back to my house i kicked my brother in the testicles for nearly killing me. I still did a little gun running after that, mostly on my bike. The Nazis sometimes ignored children, which gave me an advantage

Omgcorgitracks7 karma

That's awful I can't imagine seeing that :(. Did you have any close calls? Were there times where you like "im so screwed " what other stuff did you do?

send_you_to_billys9 karma

I was nearly picked up by a German truck twice. The first time ive told in this post when i collapsed in the snow. The biggest im so screwed moments i had were hunger related. When he ran out of food, we would put breadcrumbs on the street and use a wooden crate to catch pidgeons. Those were dark days.

Omgcorgitracks6 karma

Wow that sounds really dark indeed, thanks for answering my questions!

send_you_to_billys4 karma

No problem :)

AngeloPappass4 karma

How does pigeon taste? And how do you catch one?

send_you_to_billys9 karma

"Stringy" he says.

I caught them by putting breadcrumbs under a leaning wooden crate, then dropped it on them when they were at the right position, just like in the cartoons :)

fuckquebec1 karma

Could you tell us the story of the second time? Thank you.

send_you_to_billys2 karma

Sorry, I would have replied earlier, I was halfway through the story when my browser crashed.

My Opa was the only kid in his family who could go to school, so inbetween courier work for the resistance and running guns, he attended a boarding school outside of Amsterdam. It gave him relative refuge from the Nazis and it gave him a bit of normalcy in relativity to the situation he was in. So one day, three trucks pulled up outside the school. The teachers looked terrified, and the soldiers started pulling kids into single file lines outside the trucks. The trucks were most likely headed to a work camp, just like in the first story. My Opa grabbed two of his friends and went out the back window, and down the hill where the school was situated on. They covered themselves with leaves and lay still, waiting, terrified. When they heard the trucks start up and leave, they went back to the school and found the teachers weeping on the front porch of the school. All the boys were gone.

rightcross1 karma

What happened the second time?

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Sorry, I would have replied earlier, I was halfway through the story when my browser crashed. My Opa was the only kid in his family who could go to school, so inbetween courier work for the resistance and running guns, he attended a boarding school outside of Amsterdam. It gave him relative refuge from the Nazis and it gave him a bit of normalcy in relativity to the situation he was in. So one day, three trucks pulled up outside the school. The teachers looked terrified, and the soldiers started pulling kids into single file lines outside the trucks. The trucks were most likely headed to a work camp, just like in the first story. My Opa grabbed two of his friends and went out the back window, and down the hill where the school was situated on. They covered themselves with leaves and lay still, waiting, terrified. When they heard the trucks start up and leave, they went back to the school and found the teachers weeping on the front porch of the school. All the boys were gone.

here you go.

boozehoundabt122 karma

My father's family were caught harboring Jews very early after the invasion. The Germans arrested all the males, his father and 5 brothers. They were taken to prison and placed in front of a firing squad. Dad said the officer went through the motions, Ready, Aim and then turned to them and said something to the effect (paraphrased from memory, my father has passed away) "We are winning the war. Do you want to lose your entire family?" And they all went to jail for either 3 or 6 months. On release the family men joined the resistance. The person who shopped them was a Jew

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Wow, that's an amazing story. My Opa gives his appreciation for your families bravery in the face of such horror. Most families he knew wouldn't dare take such a risk, let alone join the resistance afterwards.

auroraborememalice4 karma


send_you_to_billys7 karma

I have seen my share of sadness and horror, but I have seen so much happiness birthed out of the most unlikely places. I have raised a family and have a great-grandson now. I am happy to be leaving the world soon, and am content with the impact (if any) i have made.

Lumburgg9 karma

You have made an impact, and the world is a better place because people such as yourself are willing to risk everything for what is right.

send_you_to_billys13 karma

You made Opa cry, but he says thank you. It really means a lot to him

They are happy tears

send_you_to_billys3 karma

Another avenue I forgot to mention about my grandfather that might be relevant to some Dutch redditors out there. My Opa served on the HNLMS Carldorman in the Royal Netherlands Navy in the early 1950s as an engineer while his wife, my Oma began life in Australia. Theres just more and more to him I swear!

ttomaster2 karma


send_you_to_billys2 karma

Thank you so much!!

morituri_te_salutant2 karma

My grandfather was holding a door so Germans couldn't arrest a friend of him. One German soldier got angry and started to fire at the door, hitting my grandpa in the throat. He survived and was taken to the hospital. The Germans wanted to arrest him as soon as he got better but the Underground Militia took him in the middle of the night and hid him till the war was over.

Even though that probably wasn't you, i still want to thank you for your bravory!

send_you_to_billys2 karma

We would often hear of the resistance rescuing wounded Dutchmen from hospitals who had been injured. My older brother Hank was instrumental to many of these operations. If he had not passed away in the 80s, I would have asked if he remembered your father.

thelordwatermelonous2 karma

As a Dutch person who has heard about the war and the underground , I thank you with all my heart for your services. It must have been really scary at some times.. Door U is Nederlands zoals het nu is. I salute you , sir.

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Thank you very much for your comment. It means so much.

minos162 karma

Were people who fought in the resistance seen as "cool" by the local populace or was everything super secret?

Were the Nazis jerks?

What type of dutch person sided with the Nazi? What happened after the war?

send_you_to_billys3 karma

  1. We were, and I felt good to align myself with a cause I could believe in. They local populace understood the risks we were taking so they never treated us any different in public, so not to arouse suspicion.

  2. Yes, they were. They treated us terribly and stole all our food and privacy. They treated us like animals.

  3. people who wanted to survive. People who were to afraid to resist but would sell out their neighbor. Those who were found out, most disappeared in strange circumstances, others who got away are cowards.

sunshinejohnson2 karma

Opa, is that you?

send_you_to_billys2 karma

Is your last name Blommestein?

sunshinejohnson1 karma

No sorry. My grandfather's story is very similar though. He also fought in the Dutch resistance, moved to Australia after the war, and has 6 children.

send_you_to_billys1 karma


poseitom1 karma

Do you still speak Dutch?

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Now, my Opa only speaks Dutch to his wife

ponz1 karma

This conversation was very interesting and informative. Thank you OP for taking the time to share your experience with the world. It is very valuable for this new generation to hear of such experiences. Thank you for your service back then, and now.

send_you_to_billys0 karma

Thank you very much. My Opa will be overjoyed to find out how popular this got.

juffrouwjo1 karma

What was the cause for the shooting on Dam Square? Also, which group were you with?

send_you_to_billys1 karma

The German soldiers who had realised their glorious Reich had fallen took drunken revenge to the people of Amsterdam as a last ditch effort to hurt us.


jonasbjarki1 karma

Happy to hear that you survived the war and have made such a good life for yourself. Best wishes to you and your family!

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Thank you very much !

Lethalmud1 karma

Dank je, zonder mensen als jij zou ik nooit geboren zijn.

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Het plezier is van mij

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Hey guys, the post has been taken down I think so I'm not sure if you can even read this, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to my grandfather's stories with such respect and interest. It means so much to him and I and I have never seen him so happy. Because of you guys, he will never forget this :)

hot_coffee1 karma

Thank you very much for doing this, sir.

There currently is a trial ongoing in Germany, against a Dutch former SS border guard named Siert Bruins, 92 years old.
Excerpt from the New York Times article:

Mr. Bruins, who was born in the Netherlands but acquired German citizenship while serving with the Nazis, is accused of killing Aldert Klaas Dijkema, a Dutch resistance fighter, on the night of Sept. 21, 1944.

My question is whether you are familiar with these names or had heard about this case back then. Thank you again.

That being said, I hope justice will prevail.

send_you_to_billys2 karma

You are welcome. My older brother always had resistance members at our apartment, always coming and going, collecting packages and food, then leaving. My brother was very well connected and there is a good chance that he may have known him. A Dutchman who joins the Nazis and kills his countryman? There are few worse crimes.

Remember__Me1 karma

I don't know of any people related to me who suffered at the hands of the Nazis...though most of my great-grandfather's family was executed right next to him, in Germany by Stalin's army...but that's a story for another day.

Having said that, I have no questions. Just a thanks for your badass-ery. Apologies if swearing offends you. But what you did was badass. Thank you!

send_you_to_billys1 karma

No, it doesn't offend me, thank you for your comment!

InkingShips1 karma

Australian here, just wanted to say I hope you were made to feel welcome to our country after the war and also that you're a much braver person than I am.

send_you_to_billys2 karma

Australia was a wonderful place to raise my family and I thank you and your country for being so welcoming.

Animal_Mother271 karma

How was the transition in everyday life once your country was invaded? Was it a gradual change or all at once?

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Very quick change. People would disappear every day, and all we could do was adapt as quickly as we could

HoboOnTheCorner1 karma

My question is regarding the organization of the Militia. Was it well organized? Was there a certain group of people who were in charge? Or was it more disorganized, everyone doing what the could to help despite no central leadership?

send_you_to_billys1 karma

It was a bit disorganized, but only for this reason: The more organized we would become, we less safe we were. If we were more disorganized and lone operators, we became more elusive as a revolutionary force and safer.

turtlegrudge1 karma

Did you meet any "big wigs" any people of historical interest in your youth?

send_you_to_billys1 karma

Everyone was very elusive back then, and alot of people looked out for themselves and their families. I'm sure I would have encountered important historical people without even knowing it! hope i helped.

jerrre1 karma

How can you be 13 in '43 and 83 now?

send_you_to_billys0 karma

Sorry, my Opa has suffered 2 strokes so he's not fantastic with numbers. I'll try to rectify any discrepancies when i have time. :)

Akasazh-13 karma

Dit ruikt naar stierenstront.

send_you_to_billys8 karma

Dit ruikt naar stierenstront


OP's grandson here: this guy says my Opa's story is bullshit.