thu 07 may 2009 08:41:42 witte de withstraat
saw docu over gerrit gunnink
last night i saw on nederland 2 a documentary about an old guy named gerrit gunnink, who during the war was in the resistance with the meppel knokploeg. all his life gerrit had been troubled by one incident during his wartime activities, and in his old age he went to investigate it with the help of a filmmaker.
it concerned a young onderduiker (hider) named pieter hoppen, something like that. i guess this piet had been in the dutch army, and the germans were suddenly calling up all dutch ex-military men to become prisoners of war (probably so they could send them to work in german factories). not fun, right. so, like a lot of other guys his age, with the help of the resistance, piet went into hiding. like a lot of hiders, he got moved frequently from place to place. but three of those hiding-addresses subsequently got raided by the sicherheidsdienst and the helpers got arrested. so the resistance team in meppel knew someone was tipping off the germans about the hiding addresses. and for some reason they suspected piet himself. the traitor must be eliminated! gerrit gunnink knew where piet was hiding just then, so he went to fetch him -- "we're taking you to your definitive address" -- and escorted him to a certain car waiting on a certain streetcorner. along the way, piet asked to stop in to a stationery shop, to buy some paper so he could write to his mom. then, two other guys drove piet to a deserted shed out in the farmland, and shot him seven times in the head. after the first four shots piet still managed to say "why are you guys shooting me?" then he died. a few days later gerrit and his pals returned to the shed and buried piet's body right there next to the drainage ditch.
for the rest of his life, gerrit gunnink never felt quite right about all this. he thought maybe a mistake had been made. he turned down an offer to be knighted by the queen of the netherlands. finally in his late seventies, he set off on an investigation as to whether piet hoppen, whom he'd helped deliver to his death, really was a traitor. he visited several municipal archives, the national archives, the red cross, and he even went to see david barnouw at the institute for war documentation. there had been plenty of postwar written correspondence and investigation about piet, because his family had been desperately trying to find out what happened to him after the war. but there was no evidence whatsover that he, or any of his family, were connected with the NSB or the WA or the SD. his death had been a misunderstanding. gerrit got together with some of piet's relatives (nieces and nephews etc) and told them what he knew. then finally they went digging and found the body, just last month sometime.
i thought that was all really interesting, how they told the story. especially cuz i'd just been watching "het meisje met het rode haar" the night before, the hannie schaft story. i normally think of these resistance heroes as doing their thing in some remote black-and-white past. so it was interesting to see bright as day and in living color, this old guy who was there, taking us to the places where it all happened, and seeking out living relatives of some poor soldier who'd been mistaken for a nazi collaborator.
what else is going on. after a long stretch of plenty of sunlight, just in the last few days it has been cloudy, breezy and chilly. i've been back to wearing my scarf and that knit cap dh made for me.
i'm doing some small writing assignments for my biggest client. also did my financials for q1, finally. there wasn't much to report. and yesterday i went to the albert heijn with marina, for some reason i was in the mood. and we brought back four big bags of groceries.
material is starting to trickle in for the second issue of mental shoes.
recently, police in amsterdam arrested a 48-year-old woman who they think phoned in that anonymous tip about three guys coming in a van from belgium to bomb the amsterdam ikea store in march -- which as you may recall, triggered a big terrorism alert here, and a string of embarrassing false arrests of local moroccans.
i just consolidated most of what i drunkenly blathered here on 05 may into one entry. it had originally been three separate entries.