RAPPORT & GEVOLGEN VAN DE EERSTE MISSIE
TRANSCRIPTIE UIT HS9/1463/3
226666/A Bayswater File 25th July, 1944
INTERROGATION OF BIALLOSTERSKI @ BRUIN @ DRAUGHTS. 298(a)
Biallosterski, who was dropped in Holland on the night of the 31st March-1st April, 1944 as organiser of a special mission, was interrrogated at Baywater on the 25th July in order to supplement the written report of his mission, contacts etc which he had already made to N Section and the Dutch Government.
(Tijdens zijn verblijf in Madrid heeft Tobias al een voorlopig rapport geschreven onder de naam van OLIVER. Meer rapporten zijn tot nu toe niet boven water gekomen. Dit rapport is 2½ week na zijn terugkeer in Engeland opgemaakt)
1. The Underground Press in Holland.
Source (Biallosterski) stated that the Underground Press is the most widespread organisation at present working in Holland. It covers all the big towns and the greater part of the country; the country is covered in such a way that every district can and usually does receive a copy of at least one of the Underground Papers.
The names of the large papers are:-
a) TROUW, which is a very big paper and used to have a very big circulation indeed, but owing to recent
arrests this has been somewhat reduced lately.
b) JE MAINTIENDRAI
c) CHRISTOPHOOR, a big Catholic paper with its circulation chiefly in South-Holland, which is the most
Catholic part of the country; this paper has grown very much from a small beginning.
d) HET PAROOL.
The larger papers are all printed, but the majority of Communist papers are stencilledand duplicated.
a) TROUW. This paper is printed in different parts of the country and there was a time in the Summer and Autumn of 1943 when it was being produced by no fewer than 7 printers in different parts of Holland. It was a very well organised paper but undoubtedly there was a serious danger in having so many printers, each one in charge of the distribution of the copies which he printed, but printing identical issues, the draft for which they received from the Headquarters of the editorial Establishment in Utrecht, the copy being delivered to the printers through a series of cut-outs.
This paper had a very wide scope and included in its excutive both Catholics and Protestants of every shade of political opinion, though the leadership was definitely Conservative. In addition to the publication of the paper the organisation also dabbled in other matters. It is known to have organised raids on Food offices and has been instrumental in securing the liquidation of some traitors. The organisation also had an escape route, though source had no knowledge of its activities. (Dus niet alleen Parool maar ook Trouw beschikte over een ontsnappings organisatie.)
Source knew a certain amount about TROUW as anyone must who has worked with the Underground Press, since this paper at its best had a circulation of from 70-80.000 copies, but he knew no real details of the personalities involved. He, however, understood that the crop of arrests which came about were due to the Germans in some way or another getting hold of one of the printers. (Waarschijnlijk betreft het hier een aantal verspreiders die in Utrecht op 27 september 1943 zijn gearresteerd. Deze arrestatie was het gevolg van het doorslaan van een aantal Trouw verspreiders uit Zeeland die rond begin september met de Zeeuwsw LO top waren opgepakt.)
d) HET PAROLE (Parool) Source worked with this paper in Holland on the technical side and also to some extent in the distribution before he came to the U.K. for the first time. He had not come across MEYER SLUYSER, though he had had contact with the new Dutch Minister for Justice (who recently came to the U.K. under the alias of BLAKE) who was at the time in Holland and connected with the paper under the name of PIETER 't HOEN (van Heuven-Goedhart).
At this time Parole had a circulation of approximately 25.000 copies and whole of the organisation was handled by 4 or 5 men. The Editorial Staff saw nearly every Underground Paper as it was issued and had a very good information department, where all the different papers were filed and where they also collected interesting material on the subject of German propaganda: in a paper of this size and standings its records were frequently made available to other Underground Papers, especially the smaller ones, who had no records of their own and who wished to draw upon them for material.
2. Smaller Papers.
In addition to these papers above named, Source knew of some smaller, less important papers in Holland. He had never come across a paper called HET CONTRA SIGNAAL (i.c. the single sheet in which
Van BILSEN was denounced as a traitor) but he had heard of a Communist paper called SIGNAAL which was a small stencilled paper which made a somewhat sporadic appearance. There was another very small paper called VOD which circulated only through the hands of Underground Workers and which gave a resume of news from the BBC and and descriptions of members of the SD and Gestapo with, wherever possible, their photographs.
Source had also once seen a copy of DIE STEMME VAN VRIJ NEDERLAND (i.e. the paper with Van BILSEN claimed to be connected) and stated that he thought it was a very new paper, its circulation was small and Source is under the impression that it only started in the spring of 1944.
There was also another paper with a fairly large circulation called DE PLOEG, which started business in the Autumn of 1943 and was sponsored by the party of Dr. Colijn.
(Frans van Bilsen was beslist geen verrader, hij hielp Ubbink en Dourlein onder te duiken na hun ontsnapping uit de gevangenis van Haaren en nam hen ook enige tijd in huis).
3. BRUTUS (SOE agent Johan Grün)
Source was questioned very carefully on the subject of BRUTUS, but was himself quite unable to offer any explanation although in the main he confirmed the facts to be as they had been reconstructed in London over the last few months.
The knowledge of the microphoto which BRUTUS carried, which it is thought that the enemy have it, is difficult to explain in view of the fact that Source said that he had heard about this photograph, which he described quite accurately, from one of the leaders of L.O; this man had, it appears, actually seen the photograph, which had been shown to him by another man in the same organisation sometime in the autumn of 1943, possibly October, who had stated then that it was the introduction from the Dutch Government for BRUTUS. Source had ascertained that BRUTUS had most certainly had several meetings with a large number of people holding very high positions in the Dutch Underground Press; this Source thinks was a very extraordinary action to take in view of the risks which were involved and also of the fact that the Underground Press in Holland is so organised that it is quite unnecessary to have any contacts, other than two or three with chosen liaison agents.
(Johan Grün heeft twee mircrofoto's aan Joop Stallinga gegeven terwijl hij en Grün op bezoek waren bij Janny Rebel in Amsterdam)
Source stated that he had been told by APOLLO that he (Apollo) had met BRUTUS in Brussells for diner with George van Vliet; when told by Interrogator that we had understood that Apollo and Brutus had never seen each other again after making their forced landing in Belgium, Source reiterated that he had certainly gained this impression from Apollo, but could not be absolutely sure that the fact was stated in so many words. (Wanneer Brutus en Apollo op de crashsite uit elkaar gaan, wensen zij elkaar een goede reis en 'tot ziens in Brussel'. In het door Grün geschreven boek 'Ik was geheim agent' komt een ontmoeting met Apollo (van Schelle) niet voor).
While Source was in Holland he knew that BRUTUS had arrived in Holland and was in fact living in Doorn at one time; when asked whether he could throw any light upon the story of a DODO which was told by Lieutenant HURST of the USAAF and had known of a DODO who was also at one time in Doorn, but disappeared from that town after Brutus arrived.
Upon Lieut. Hurst's description of DODO or BRUTUS being read to him Source stated quite definitely that it was a description of BRUTUS and that it could not be DODO, of whom he knew, because that man had a big round face. Source had no knowledge of any book-seller in Doorn who might be involved in the story.
F. van Bilsen
Source (Biallosterski) explained that L.O. is a very big organisation and that certainly most of the people in it with whom he came into contact seemed to know the details of the Brutus story and without exception the whole of the Underground Press knew the story with all its details and implications. On account of this part of Source's mission, which was to warn the Underground Press of possible danger in contacts with Brutus was unnecessary as all security precautions had been taken and no harm ever arose that could be traceable to Brutus. Source was at some trouble to try to check up on the story and visited a great many people who had at one time or another been in contact with the man who was alleged to be Brutus, all these people without exception gave the decription of the real Brutus, even down to the mark on the left ear. Later on in his stay in Holland Source had heard a report to the effect that the Underground Press knew that this man (Brutus) was working for the Gestapo; one of the Editors of PAROLE told Source that once when he had been to Amsterdam to see Brutus he had a suspiction on the return journey that he was being followed, but acting on this impulse he jumped out of the train when it was slowing down before the station at Driebergen and kept clear of any of Brutus contacts from that time. Source has never understood why Brutus should have contacted the Editors of the papers, which was very dangerous for both parties and quite unnecessary. If he was in fact working under control he was perfectly well placed to give a warning to his contacts, but this he never did. Certainly everybody in Holland was very pleased to see Brutus in his capacity as an emissary from London and they treated him as a very big (important) man. It is remarkable therefore that if he was at any time working under control he did not catch a great many people since he was certainly in a position to do so. After the tale of Brutus got spread around everybody naturally cut their contacts and since then nothing more has ever been seen or heard of him.
Source suggests that possibly the new Dutch Minister of Justice JONKHEER VAN HEUVEN GOEDHART who is now in the UK may have something further upon this matter since he was in Holland at the relevant time and was intimately connected with the Underground Press.
(Johan Grün alias Brutus werd op 3 januari 1944 op het station te Driebergen gearresteerd terwijl hij op weg was naar een bespreking in Utrecht met George van Vliet, alias George Ridderhof een Gestapo infiltrant. In zijn boek 'Ik was geheim agent' beschrijft Grün het verdere verloopt na zijn arrestatie en hieruit blijkt dat hij geen pogingen heeft gedaan om in opdracht van de Duitsers contacten te leggen.)
Source was in contact with L.O. and knows that there is a liaison between the L.O. and R.V.V. He had heard further while he was in Holland that the RVV had suffered a good deal of penetration by the Germans, although so far as he could tell LO was not affected by this. The information nevertheless prevented him from trying to make contact with the RVV.
In 1943 Source had seen 3 leaflets issued by the RVV which made it appear as though it was a very big organisation which was trying to coordinate Underground activity in Holland. He added however, that he had never seen any big (major) work of the RVV.
Source had been approached by the Dutch authorities in London with a project to contact the RVV, but he had said that LO was more isolated and conservative in outlook than the RVV and suggested that it would be adviseable to contact LO first and make contact with RVV through them along the lines which which should appear best in their eyes. Source stated very definitely that when the late N asked him to contact the RVV he only agreed to make this contact on behalf of othersafter a good deal of persuasion and then stipulated that he must personally have full control of security; he states that the agents who were subsequently sent to the RVV were sent by some other means than those which he proposed and that he thinks that the whole thing was wrong, since the general impression in Holland is that the RVV, despite their own version of themselves, is in reality a very small organisation which is fairly thoroughly penetrated.
When asked for his views upon the connection between the RVV and the RADIO DIENST Source stated that in his view penetration of the RVV must extend to the Radio Dienst, but that penetration of the Radio Dienst need not necessarily extend to the RVV. Source stated that he would not agree to go to the RVV, from what he has heard about about it in Holland since he thinks it is penetrated and he is of the opinion that if it is so, as he thinks it is, the enemy must have knowledge of the Radio Dienst.
(Hoe Tobias Biallosterski aan het idee komt dat de RVV zwaar geinfiltreerd is blijft een raadsel. Ook niet is duidelijk wie hij nu uiteindelijk gesproken heeft over deze kwestie, misschien met Mr. H.B.S. Holla uit Vught. Hier kwam Tobias enige keren tijdens zijn eerste missie.)
Source had never heard of any of the alleged contacts with RVV which were given by KNOPPERS
(Knoppers alias SARGENT werkte voor de Duitsers, werd via een door de Duitsers gecontroleerde escape line naar Engeland overgebracht om daar tot agent opgeleid te worden die vervolgens met alle opgedane kennis door de Engelsen in Nederland gedropt zou worden. Dit laatste ging echter niet door, want Knoppers viel in Engeland door de mand),
he had however, come into contact with RVV indirectly in another way through a relation of his called BALDER from a place called Broek-op-Langendijk, who was very Protestant in outlook and had been working for the RVV for about a year. Through him he discovered that the RVV had no escape-route of its own.
This man BALDER is in many ways an extraordinary person since he has so far escaped any form of trouble although in addition to his work with the RVV he is a local director for no less than three Underground papers; JE MAINTIENDRAI, HET PAROLE and TROUW, while he is also always ready to help anyone, at one time had 6 Jews in hiding in his house; further more this man had a contact with the leader of the O.D. in Alkmaar which Source considers very dangerous as they are on the whole bad workers; this long spell of immunity is probably due to the fact that BALDER lives in a small country district where there are very few NSB-ers and where the police are patriots. The local Commander of the MARECHAUSSEE being one of the foremost people in the helping of Allied Airmen.
Questioned further on the LO Source states that in his opinion it is a very good organisation. It is very large, possibly the largest in Holland, but it is very organised on the cell system. The main activities of the LO are the support of people living illegally. Such people from all over Holland draw a subsistence allowance of 20 Guilders a week from the organisation which is provided by a large fund with a capital of 500.000 Guilders which they have raised on a guarantee of repayment by the Dutch Government after the war, which arrangement Source thinks was made with London at the beginning of 1944 through their agents in neutral countries. Source stated that LO had carried out the attack on the registration offices in Tilburg and stated that the plan was very well conceived and executed by local members of the organisation, the names of some of which he had heard. Source had not, however, ever recollected having heard any of the names of Tilburg about which doubt excists at the present time in London.
DEKKER & GEMMEKE.
Source gave a perfectly reasonable explanation of the curious co-incidence of the names of the people who he had left in contact with his mission in the field. He knows the people upon whom adverse traces excist and one of them is indeed the brother of a man (Jos Gemmeke, een vrouw) he is using.
Return to the U.K.
Source has made a seperate field report on the circumstances of his exfiltration.
Source is of the opinion that with things as they are at the present time in Holland it is only desireable to send very reliable and if possible experienced agents to that country and then to send them to no organisation except on eof which first hand evidence as to its security is available,
TRANSLATION REPORT OF T. BIALLOSTERSKI
Netherlands Ministry of War HEREFORD HOUSE,
Flat 11, 4th floor,
B.B.O. 117 Park Street
TOP SECRET MAYfair 8511
A. Chronological Report.
Reserve 2nd Lt. for General Services T. BIALLOSTERSKI, (organiser) was dropped blind in Holland on the night of the 31st March - 1st April 1944, in company of his WT operator J.A. STEMAN, on a mission regarding which see relating file.
Par. I Landing.
The landing was successful. The distance between Organiser, WT Operator and luggage were negligible. The position of this droppingfield appeared to be more or less unsuitable on account of the irregular lay-out of farms in that part. During the landing, the organiser and WT Operator noticed a night-fighter, presumably hostile, which flew over the droppingpoint. The carrier-pigeon, which they took with them, appeared to be in good condition and was set free at daybreak.
Par. II Camouflaged hidding of packet.
The ground was mostly cultivated, separated from some pieces of uncultivated ground by ditches. After reconnoitering the ground, the parachutes were buried in one of the ditches. A hidingplace for the WT set was more difficult to find. At last a small piece of hilly, uncultivated ground was choosen, 30 metres from a hedge and 10 metres from a rut. The camouflage was allright.
Par. III Departure for Safe-house and release of carrier-pigeons.
After the clearance, the organiser and WT operator went armed to their Safe-house (see annexe of order) The journey was wothout any incident and as follows.
The 1st April at about 04.00 o'clock, organiser and WT operator set out for N.N.W. (direction Etten). At a distance of 1,5 K.M. from the landingfield, they waited for daybreak. The organiser thought this desirable so as to facilitate necessary observation of the surroundings, as the absence of sufficient moonlight on account of the thin clouds, made this impossible during the night. The WT operator, who seemed to be nervous in the beginning, was optimistic, but very tired. He slept till daylight. At about 06.45 o'clock, the carrier-pigeon was released. She kept circling around for a little while and then flew away in a westerly direction. The compas was of great use. The barking of dogs on the various farms was disturbing and caused dogs on more distant farms to join in. ± 08.00 o'clock, the organiser and WT operator arrived in Etten, where they took a bus at 08.30 o'clock for Breda, where they had to wait on account of an air raid alarm. The journey from Breda to Santpoort went smoothly. Arrival at 14.30 o'clock.
Par. IV Contact Sergeant De VRIES and BANGMA.
On the 2nd April contact was made with Sergeant DE VRIES, who supplied the organiser after a couple of days, with geographical maps of Holland, except maps for the Southern part of the country. There was contact with BANGMA (Anton) also on the 2nd of April. BANGMA gave a review of the general condition in Holland and an oral report about the happenings which took place during the absence of the organiser.
Par. V Contact with underground Press via ADRIAAN DE BAK.
On the 4th April ADRIAAN DE BAK, editor of "Je Maintiendrai" was contacted. He writes articles regularly. He has already been a long time in hiding and was orginally employed on the Stock Exchange, Amsterdam. He reacts very slowly. The organiser gave him instruction to relinquish his editorial functions and from that moment to devote himself solely to the maintenance of contact between the Underground Press and the organiser.
Par. VI Contact with COR VAN PAASEN, Chief editor of "Je Maintiendrai" and MR. HOLLA.
The 6th April, B. (Biallosterski) again was in contact with DE BAK. He also contacted COR VAN PAASEN (Cor van Paaschen), Chief editor of "Je Maintiendrai" to whom he gave the pseudonym of PIET DEKKER. With him, he went to see MR. HOLLA, Van Leeuwensteinlaan 23a, Vught, Head of the L.O. in Brabant. MR. (Harry) HOLLA had contacts with many illegal organisations, including the O.D. For the O.D. he did not do any active work, but he kept up the contact between the L.O. and the O.D. Moreover, he took care of the contacts with the head groups of the Underground Press, with the R.V.V., National Comite van Verzet, passeur-organisations, etc, etc. He was a very important junction in the illegal traffic. B. pointed out his vulnerability in these functions, but his reply was, that he was well aware of the danger, and that his working method was theoretically incorrect, but if one wants to achieve something, it is practically the only way. He was a very devout Catholic, who found support for his work in his religion. Being a lawyer, de defended the case of many Dutch people before German Courts. Through his profession, he always got to know the particulars about political prisoners. Pesonally, he did a lot for the Jews. He himself boarded a little Jewish girl of 5 years. B. tried to get an introduction to the Mayor of Rijsbergen, but this could only be fixed by a certain detour.
Par. VII Discovery: disappearance WT set.
On the 6th April B. gave instructions to DEKKER to organise the transport of the WT set. On the 7th April, both of them set out to cycle to the droppingpoint, where they arrived at about 17.30. It was Good Friday. In the neighbourhood of the hidding place, farmers were busy plating patatoes. B. and DEKKER thought it necessary to put away the WT set the same night. Both of them went in the first place to Klein-Zundert, where they wanted to ask for shelter from the Priest. He could not help them, as he had already some guests. Moreover, he appeared to distrust them, and was afraid to do something, of which he could not foresee the consequences, and which would possibly occasion difficulties for his parish. After dusk, B. and D. went to the place, where the WT set was placed, in order to dig it up, take it for the time being to a safer place, and transport it the next day to Breda, where DEKKER had some contacts. They could not use the Trappist monastery, as DEKKER thought that it was impossible to go there without any warning on the night of Good Friday. Attempts to find the WT set were fruitless. They found some remmants of the packing of the material parcel, but no set. At about 00.00 hour, they gave it up for the moment and went to a farm at a distance of about 1 K.M, where they stayed overnight in a haystack. Early morning next day (8 April), they went back to the droppingpoint, after having asked at a nearby farm for a spade, which was refused. The tried two other farms but only at the third did they succeed in obtaining a spade. Now they found more remains of the buried package. i.e. more pieces of the wrapping, a small brandnew jute sack (probably the bag which contained the crystals) and eventually more shredded coconut paching material, which would seemed to prove, that neither the Gestapo nor any other Police department had had a hand in the disappearance of the package, because they would in all probability have removed all clues with meticulous care.
Par. VIII Contact GEMMEKE.
By bicycle B. and D. set out for Rijsbergen and from there to Breda and The Hague. They ate that night with the family GEMMEKE at the Amalia van Solmsstraat 119 (relation of the Oversturmführer GEMMEKE, formerly Inspector of Polive2nd class, Amsterdam, and formerly Captain of the reserve of the Dutch Army, member of the N.S.B., Uniform scandal during hostilities) The fiancee of VAN PAASEN ("Jos") was there very ill. She was suffering from mastoiditis.
Par. IX Contact between WT operator and DEKKER.
On the 8th April, B. brought his WT operator and DEKKER together. They spent the night opening the bags and other material which they had brought with them, after they came to an agreement with DEKKER, that they would transfer everything to him, on condition that he would retire from his editorship. The WT operator had much faith in DEKKER, although naturally he was very depressed over the loss of his WT set.
Par. X Allocation of Money for Illegal Press.
Total sum HFl. 50.000,- Of this amount HFl. 100,- was missing which was later dicovered in the privat moneybelt. HFl. 5000,- was given to D. (Dekker = Van Paaschen) for operational purposes, as well as HFl. 5000,- which B. had had given to him for personal use. The rest HFl. 44.900,- was handed over to DE BAK for distribution among the various illegal papers, in proportion to their needs, taking into consideration the fact, that some of the papers had already received some money from the Government. (for example TROUW). The principle adopted was an honest allocation, the Catholic and Communist papers included. After much discussion, the organisation of the distribution was left to DE BAK and
Par. XI Preparation for formation of Reception-Committee and B's return.
The 9th April, B. set out early to MR. HOLLA, in order to make preparations for his return and for the forming of a Reception-Committee. For the later, HOLLA mentioned an O.D. field that should still be in use. B. who in principle avoided all contact with the O.D. having regard to the sad antecedents of this organisation, did not want to use this field. He triedvia HOLLA to find another person, suitable to form a Reception-Committee. That same night (Easter Sunday) B. left for The Hague.
Par. XII Brutus-Affair.
On Easter-Monday the 10th April, B. went to Arnhem, to meet a member of the editorial staff of the "Parool" (pseudonym "MAARTEN", real name unknown) in order to investigate the BRUTUS case and make inquiries into the accidents which happened in connection therewith. Th the "Parool", the case of Brutus was still a mystery. MAARTEN did not know of any agents called VAN VLIET, VAN DAM or BRANDY; he only heard in connection with the name of BRAM VAN OORD, at Doorn, at whose place Brutus had stayed. All of a sudden Brutus disappeared and all inquiries B. made about him, came to a dead end at that point. ADRIAAN DE BAK has personally had contact with BRUTUS. According to B. it was extremely stupid of BRUTUS to contact such a lot of members of headgroups of the Illegal Press, and when he expressed to ADRAAN DE BAK his indignation about the matter, the latter answered, that this was Brutus's mission. B. got the impression from what the various people said, that BRUTUS was spoilt by the circumstances and that he wanted to show himself off as a very important man. The Description of BRUTUS which was given to B. by H.Q. of London at that time, agreed with the description DE BAK gave him. Even MR. HOLLA knew of some particulars of the BRUTUS case, for instance, that BRUTUS aeroplane was shot down over Belgium, that BRUTUS had gone to Doorn and had contacted the Illegal Press in that place. The BRUTUS case was generally known in the Illegal world. The semi-official disseimination of his description amongst underground workers, was also the cause of the public's knowledge of the BRUTUS case. The rumours were numerous.
Par. XIII Arrests "PAROOL" December 1943.
About half of December 1943, fire broke out in the delivery department of "PAROOL" in the Peperstraat, Amsterdam. Members of the delivery group of "PAROOL" tried to save the lists of addresses of subscribers, but only partly succeeded. During this attempt the following people were arrested:
1. JAN STALLINGA @ JOOP MET DE KLEINE VOETEN.
2. JAN VAN GRONINGEN (pseudonym).
3. JAAP LAMBECK (real name) from Loosdrecht.
The latter escaped, because he told the police that he had nothing to do with the case, but that he only came to fetch his bicycle. He was disguised as a postman, which reinforced his coverstory. As a result of these arrests, the position of "PAROOL" was so much affected., that only 1000 copies could be printed and distributed. STALLINGA after his arrest, squealed the address of the printer at The Hague, of BRAM MEERWALDT @ POEPIE and of many others involved. The name of the printer at The Hague was ZILVER (@ GOUD) or vice-versa, Hemsterhuisstraat. (In this street there is also a communist arsenal). At the printer's there was a battle in which the combattans (the German police against father and son ZILVER) used fire-arms. The son was mortally wounded.
Par. XIV Contact with THEO and FATHER HUBERTUS.
Tuesday, the 11th April, B. met THEO. Description: slight built, height 5'8", more or less blond, wearing spectacles, clean shaven, age about 26-27, used to be printer. Wore striking hat, pale complexion and blue eyes. THEO (Erik Berding) was able to supply B. with the latest details about Gestapo-agents. For that reason, B. made an appointment to meet him Thursday the 13th April at Ermelo. After that B. returned to Vught. There he met Father HUBERTUS, who specially came from Belgium to arrange for his journey back. The same night B. returned to The Hague (raid on Kleykamp, B. was eyewitness of that raid; at that time he was in the Peace Palace. See separate report Bombardment Kleykamp)
Par. XV Instructions to P. DEKKER with reference to sending of WT reports.
Wednesday, the 12th April, B. Instructed DEKKER how to work the WT with code and the innocent letter system. B. did not tell him his indicator, but requested him to work via FRANS (Jan Steman), because his message would be purely technical to obtain a new set.
Par. XVI Innocent letters to Sweden and Switserland.
The same day, the 12th April, the first innocent letter was sent to Sweden. B. asked for such innocent letter to be sent in future every week, in order to keep London informed about events.The night of the 12th April B. went to Santpoort, where he gave his WT operator instructions to make a draft innocent letter for Switserland. That day identity papers were also fixed for Frans via Mr. HOLLA. He had also taken cate, that a stamp was on the Persoonsbewijs.
Par. XVII Meeting between B. DEKKER and THEO.
The 13th April B. set out on the journey Santpoort, Amsterdam, Amersfoort, Ermelo. B. met DEKKER on the platform of Amersfoort, when the both went to Ermelo, in order to meet THEO. The latter did not turn up at the appointed place, so that B. and DEKKER decided to go by taxi (very expensive) to Putten, near Ermelo. (a quarter of an hour by taxi). Here lived a contact of DEKKER's of "Je Maintiendrai"
Friday the 14th April, B. and DEKKER returned to Vught, where they heard via MR. HOLLA, that THEO did not keep his appointment on account of a sudden suspicion. The same day an arrangement for a meeting with THEO could be made, where THEO handed to B. an extensive collection of identity papers, amonst which were Ausweise, etc, on condition that if these papers were reproduced in England, the organisation should be able to make use of them.
Par. XVIIa WT-set Philips.
Furthermore THEO had at his disposal a WT-set which was built by Philips. He was asked to transport it to Zeeland, but he seemed to be willing to place it at B's disposal, again on condition that in case any papers were copied in London, he could make use of them. After discussion with DEKKER, the permission was in principle granted. The transfer of the set was to take place at Eindhoven on Monday the 17th April.
Par. XVIII DE VRIES in charge of investigation of the loss of the set.
On the night of the 14th April B, went to Santpoort, where again he contacted the policeman DE VRIES, in order to discuss with him the possibilities of an investigation about the loss of the WT set. B. gave DE VRIES some money to cover the expenses to be incurred in connection with the investigation.
Par. XIX Leader Reception-committee.
The 16th April B. made the aquaintance of the leader of the Reception-committee, ANTON VAN DEN BRAAK, living in the municipality of Esch. This VAN DEN BRAAK was a friend of HOLLA, who had done a lot of good work for the Jews. He is an intelligent farmboy. He helped people in hiding and took care in particular of the distribution of food.
Description VAN DER BRAAK.
Height 5'10½" to 5'11", strongly built, dark short bristly hair, clean shaven, healthy complexion, real farm boy, very security minded.
In the presence of DEKKER, various grounds were visited, which were chosen by VAN DEN BRAAK as droppingpoints. B. gave DEKKER very precise instructions as to the measures to be taken, and advised him to be extremely careful that only suitable persons should join the reception-committee. B. had the opportunity to see from a distance one of the would be members. He was a tidy dressed civil servant, working for the Council of Esch. His name was unknown to him
Par. XX Preparations departure of B. for Belgium.
The 17th April B. left Vught by train for Eindhoven and from there by bicycle for Reusel, in order to notify Mr. A.A. WILLEKENS ex-mayor of Reusel, his contact, of his proposed departure. His departure for Belgium was fixed on the 19th April.
Par. XXI Checking on the Philips set.
On the 18th April FRANS and DEKKER went to Eindhoven in order to see the WT set. It appeared that this set had only a capacity of a distance of 100 K.M. According to an engineers-report, it was possible to build a set of the type required, but it would take an awful long time. B. instructed DEKKER to assume a waiting attitude and in time to judge the result.
Par. XXII Departure.
On the 19th April Biallosterski left Vught for Belgium. After having again contacted the ex-mayor WILLEKENS, he crossed the border in the afternoon in company of two custums officials, who gave him a Custums armlet to wear. The same afternoon B. arrived at the Abbey at Postel, where Father NICOLAAS (BOON) took care of him. He stayed overnight at the abbey and went the next day in company of Father HUBERTUS by tramcar via Turnhout to Antwerp, where they arrived at 21.00 o'clock. B. passed the night with a relation of HUBERTUS whom he did not know.
The 21st April B. set out for Brussels. The communication between Brussels and Namur was broken on account od an USAAF raid. Therefore B. asked HUBERTUS to return, because he thought that he would be able to find a place in Brussels himself. Eventually, there appeared still to be an opportunity to travel to Namur via Louvain.
B. arrived at Namur in the night and stayed at the "Hotel Vlaanderen".
On the 22nd April he went to Dinant. His contact there was Father MARTENS of the Abbey Leffe. The same day B. continued his journey to the French-Belgium frontier. He used for this occasion a bicycle, bought by Father MARTENS. His contact near the frontier was near Massee (Mazée) (name of person unknown).
On the 24th April B. left without papers, by bicycle to Paris. He arrived there the same day and made contact on the 25th April with Special address at Paris. He met there a Major (Ides Floor) of the Belgium (SOE) Section, who gave him permission to return to Brussels, in order to use his broadcast service.
After having tried for a fortnight in vain to get in contact with London, B. left again for Paris.
The date of his arrival was May 12th.
He arrived on the 17th May at Toulouse and the 23rd May at Perpignan. Two Belgiums and one Dutchman, who were waiting for him in Perpignan, had meanwhile been arrested.
B. went back to Toulouse, waited there for a fortnight and left on the 11th June again for Montregeau (Montrejeau) (direction Tabres).
He entered Spain on the 16th June after a very difficult journey, where he was arrested by the Spanish police on the way to Barcelona. The police accompanied B. 3 Belgians and 2 Americans (all of them said that they were either British or American) to Barbastra, where they were given the opportunity to communicate with the Vice-Consul of Saragossa, on the 21st June. The same day the whole party arrived at Huesca, the capital town of the province. Again they were lucky enough to come in contact with the British Consul, who supplied them with a safe-conduct to Saragossa. The 29th June the party left Saragossa and arrived on the 30th June at Madrid.
On the 8th July, B. came to Gibraltar. 3 hours after his arrival, he caught a plane to the U.K.
B. General remarks.
Par. XXIII Reception message of Queen Wilhelmina.
Biallosterski was received by the underground press with great enthusiasm. The message of Queen Wilhelmina to the Dutch population made a very deep impression. B. delivered it to DE BAK, who is in contact with all the illegal papers.
Par. XXIV Security.
B. has given orders to DE BAK on no account to announce anything about operational details. If they ask him any questions of this kind, he should reply that this subject lies outside the scope of the editor of the illegal papers and that it is forbidden to speak about it. B. took this measure, in order to avoid a repetition of the Brutus-affair.
Par. XXV Contact HOLLA.
A relation of Mr. HOLLA's is the ex-mayor of Roosendaal, Mr. CLAUDIUS PRINS.
Par. XXVI C. Bombardment of Kleykamp.
During the bombardment Biallosterski was in the Peace Palace, just opposite Kleykamp. The bombardment took place in the afternoon. Only after the bombs had fallen, an air raid alarm sounded. B. saw 4 Mosquito bombers nearly touching the rooftops. All of a sudden, there was a terrible noise of machine gun fire, from the ground as well as from the air, and the explosion of the stick of bombs. The German fighters which were flying over The Hague, disappeared quickly. While the bombs were falling, terrific clouds of dust arose. The Peace Palace shook on tis foundation. The thick solid mirrors all broke away from their frames. Duplicates of duly completed indentitycards (persoons bewijzen) flew through the air and were lying everywhere in the neighboering streets, whilst in Kleykamp immediately a fire broke out. No fire started in the barracks which were also hit. The building of the German Documentation Service (nr. 6 police) was damaged. The Fire-Brigade, which was present, consisted only of Distric hoese of the A.R.P. on two wheels, with a very small capacity. Not one decent fire-engine took part, as they were all transported to Germany, apparently some month's ago.
The staff of Kleykamp, was for the biggest part working in the shelter, where they stay as a rule. This staff consisted for the most part of young girls. Whem the collapsing building caught fire, the water was at a terrifically high temperature, due to the flames, fell on those victims, who were still in contact by telephone with the outside and one may assume that these people were burned alive, not as a result of the bombing, but of the extinguishing of the fire. Others were killed through suffocation, because the fireservice not only worked in a primitive fashion, but on top of that was inexperienced.
The roof of a wing of the Alexander barracks collapsed. I suggest advising again all emplyees working for Germans directly or indirectly, that the buildings are looked upon as military targets, so that they can take precautions in time.
Londen, 13th July 1944
1st Lt. for General Service,
w.s. K. de Graaf
In the presence of
Res. Capt. F.J. Klijzing and Capt. W.E. Mills
Res 2nd Lieutenant,
w.s. T. Biallosterski
© TNA London
© TNA London
© TNA, London.
INTERROGATION OF THE AGENT BRUIN IN CONNECTION WITH THE REPORT RECEIVED
FROM THE S.O.E. SECURITY CONCERNING THE EXECUTION OF THE ILLEGAL MISSION
Undersigned, Reserve 1st Lieutenant DE GRAAF, K., interrogated on this day the 14th August 1944, the agent BRUIN (Biallosterski) in connection with the mis-statements which occur in the SOE Security report and which give a completely wrong impression of the Dutch Illegal organisation, the Council of Resistance (Raad van Verzet).
1. In connection with the following quotation:-
"Source was in contact with LO and knows that there is a liaison between the LO and the RVV. He had heard further, while he was in HOLLAND, that the RVV had suffered a good deal of penetration by the Germans, although as far as he could tell LO was not affected by this. The information nevertheless, prevented him from trying to make any contact with the RVV."
I questioned BRUIN from his reply it seems that this point was wrongly interpreted by the writer of the Security report. "Penetration" that is to say the arrest of a few members of the RVV was not at all the reason BRUIN did not make contact with the RVV; in reality the case is much simpler: BRUIN had no direct contact with the RVV and also did not endeavour to establish a contact. Consequently he was not in a position to form an opinion of the RVV. He was in contact with the LO and there usally exists a form of "jalousie de metier" (professional jealousy) between such organisations, it is on account of this professional jealousy that one organisation is inclined to believe less favourable reports about the other.
2. Questioning BRUIN with regard to the following:-
"In 1943, Source had seen 3 leaflets issued by the RVV which was made it appear as though it was a very big organisation which was trying to coordinate Underground activity in HOLLAND. He added, however, that he had never seen any big work of the RVV."
I have drawn the logical conclusion that the so-called "big-work" of the RVV not being know to Source pleads in its favour, as an efficient organisation endeavours to keep its "big work" completely secret.
3. Quotation 3:-
"he states that the agents, who were subsequently sent to the RVV were sent by some other means than those which he proposed and that he thinks that the whole thing was wrong, since the general impression in HOLLAND is that the RVV despite their own version of themselves, is a reality very small organisation which is fairly thoroughly penetrated".
Likewise it is logical to assume that Source is not in a position to judge the way in which SOE contacted the RVV. That BRUIN's indirect contact were not used is a matter which only concerned the executors of the plans. In addition BRUIN denies emphatically having used the words appearing in the above mentioned paragraph. He declares that the writer of the report has completely misunderstood him. Should the RVV been classified by the LO as a small penetrated organisation, then this should be regarded as the afore-mentioned professional jealousy, and considered as worthless information.
4. Quotation 4:-
"When asked for his views upon the connection between the RVV and the RADIODIENST, Source stated that in his view, penetration of the RVV must extend to the RADIODIENST, but that penetration of the RADIODIENST need not necessarily extend to the RVV. Source stated that he would not agree to go to the RVV from what he has heard about it in HOLLAND, since he thinks it is penetrated and he is of the opinion that, if it is so, as he thinks it is, the enemy must have knowledge of the RADIODIENST."
When interrogating BRUIN on this point it appeared he was ignorant of the fact that the RADIODIENST and the RVV were two completely separate organisations, working on their own, but had contact with each other through a complicated system of cut-outs. The RADIODIENST belongs to the information service of the B.I. (Bureau Inlichtingen). Arrests occuring in either of these organisations does not mean direct "penetration" and certainly not a penetration which would necessarily extend to both organisations.
5. Quotation 5:-
"He had, however, come into contact with RVV indirectly in another way through a relation of his called BALDER from a place named BROEK-OP-LANGEDIJK, who was very Protestant in outlook and had been working for the RVV for about a year. Through him he had discovered that the RVV had no escape routes of its own."
Above-mentioned Mr. BALDER is an indirect contact who does not supply us with any valuable information. The only probable statement BALDER could have made is that the RVV had no escape routes to ENGLAND. I, however, had direct contact with the Head Group of the RVV and knew that this organisation had at least 3 escape routes at its disposal, as follows:-
(a) The organisation SCHARRER.
(b) The organisation SCHRADER.
(c) The organisation VAN TIENHOVEN.
This shows that information concerning the RVV need not necessarily be obtained from the agent BRUIN or the LO but via direct Head contacts.
Finally Source stated that contrary to the mentioned Security report he was aware of the fact that the RVV had no contact with the escape organisation SCHRADER. Moreover the present Minister of Justice Mr. VAN HEUVEN-GOEDHART and undersigned had direct contact with the Head Group of the RVV and they both have an excellent impression of this organisation. Capt. KLIJZING, who had an indirect contact with the MULLER organisation, fully agrees with the opinion that the RVV is one of the most important Dutch resistance and sabotage organisations.
Completed in LONDON,
14 th August, 1944
(Sgd) K. DE GRAAF
Res. Capt. for A.D. Res. 1st Lieut. B.B.O.
(Sgd) F.J. KLIJZING
Res. 2/Lieut. for A.D.
(Sgd) T. BiallosterskR
Bijlage bij bovenstaand rapport © TNA, London.
Memo van 14 juni over een lijst van collaborateurs die door Ides Floor is meegenomen.
© TNA, London.
Interne SOE memo van 17 Augustus 1944
Onderaan staat een notitie aan BSS of BSS/D waarin onder andere de
vraag gesteld wordt of Biallosterski goed Engels sprak © TNA, London.
Engelse vertaling van de ondervraging van Tobias Biallosterski door
Kas de Graaf van 14 augustus 1944 © TNA, London
Dit is een telegram van een Nederlandse Minister en Dominee Visser, verzonden vanuit Bern.
Wie hier allemaal bedoelt worden is niet helemaal duidelijk, wel duidelijk is dat Biallosterski genoemd wordt als de agent die op 1 April gedropt is. © TNA, London.
Het lijkt er op dat BBO in London toewerkt om de RVV als de meeste belangrijke verzets groep te doen lijken. Gezien bovenstaand telegram uit Bern lijkt het dat daar bezwaren tegen bestaan. Dat de OD dwars ligt is misschien te danken aan het feit dat deze organisatie al een verschrikkelijke hoge prijs had betaald en bijna was weggevaagd. Anderzijds speelde Six ook niet al te fraaie spelletjes, zoals het copieeren en mogelijk filteren van berichten die naar Zwitserland getransporteerd werden en het afhandig maken van de codes van de Groep Zwaantje.
De in het 1e rapport genoemde Bram Meerwalt is Mr. Arthur Meerwaldt, hij werd in de avond van 21 januari 1944 gearresteerd en is op 8 januari in Escherhausen door ziekte en uitputting om het leven gekomen.
OPROEP: Wie was Adriaan de Bak? Was dit een schuilnaam. Wat deed hij na afloop van de oorlog?
Volgens Lizanne Gille van de Universiteit Utrecht, Faculteit Geesteswetenschappen, zou Adriaan de Bak werkzaam zijn bij de Vereniging voor Effectenhandel in Amsterdam, NIOD, 249-1224, Illegale Pers - Je Maintiendrai, a2, Kort rapport over het weekblad: Je Maintiendrai.
Mogelijk gaat het hier om Adriaan de BACK, geboren 3 november 1905 te Velsen.
Memo van Gen. van Oorschot aan Commander Johns