NICOLAAS JACOBUS DE KONING.
DE KONING, Nikolaas Jacobus. R.V.P.S. 29-05-1942
Born: 16-09-1907 at Krabbendijke.
Occupation: Formerly teacher, recently a manager on a farm.
Father: Jan DE KONING, retired schoolmaster in Breda.
Mother: Fenia Elsina nee LAMPE (deceased).
Brother: Jakobus, a priest in Schepluiden.
Brother: Gerard, a schoolteacher in Ulrum (Groningen).
Brother: Wuitse, a clerk in Rotterdam.
Sister: Elisabeth, married to A. VAN ZAET, teacher in Bandoeng, Java.
Sister: Hendrika, married to DE HAAN, chief clerk of the well known publishers NYGH & VAN DITMAR.
Sister: Geeretje, teacher in Kloosterbuur.
Sister: Hermina, married to DE HAMER, employed at the Municipal Offices, Rotterdam.
Last permanent address: "Selvana", Villa Angostura de Correntoso, Neuquen.
Date and Port of embarkment: 10-04-1942 at Buenos Aires.
Port and Date of Arrival: 18-05-1942 at Avonmouth.
1. This man studied at the Secondary School and also the HBS in Goes. He later attended a College for teachers and completed this education in 1926, or 1927.
2. He remained unemployed for a long time owing to the economic conditions in Holland and was obliged to accept odd jobs here and there. He also gave private lessons. In 1933 he bought a small grocer shop which he ran together with his brother, Wuitse in Rotterdam. The business was not very successful and he only derived a very small income from it. So therefore he … … to leave Holland.
3. DE KONING left Holland in October 1935 and sailed from Rotterdam on the s.s. KLCIONE bound for Argentina. he arrived in Buenos Aires on 13-11-1935. Before he left Holland he was in touch with a Dutch Christian Society who gave him a number of names and addresses of Dutch settlers in the Argentina. he wrote to some of these people and was engaged as a farmhand by Mr. Jakob GROENBERG who had a farm at a place called Tres Arryos. He worked for this man on the land about three years and then got in touch with another Dutchman by the name of BIERMAN who had just acquired a large property and who had offered him a job as manager on his farm which is in Neuquen. There he remained until the was called up for Military Service by the Dutch Consul in Buenos Aires.
4. On January 10th, 1942, he received a notification to appear before a medical board in Buenos Aires and was passed fit for Military Service. His military papers, however, were sent through the Dutch HQ established in Canada, but he himself was not sent to Canada, but came straight to this country.
JOURNEY TO THIS COUNTRY.
5. He left Buenos Aires on April 10th 1942 on board the British motor vessel PORT D... and came to this country via Montevideo and Freetown. Nobody, however, was allowed to leave the ship while she was in port. This journey was quite uneventful and DE KONING landed in Avonmouth on May 1st, 1942.
6. DE KONING left his native country in 1935 and has since not been back. His story is a very simple one and his case appears to be quite straightforward. He explained that he volunteered shortly after the invasion of Holland, but as the Dutch Government was not established here nothing could be done for him. He volunteered once more ad while he was waiting for an answer conscription was decided upon all Dutchman living in the Argentina and he was called up in the regular way for military service through the Dutch authorities. he has never performed any military service in his own country as some of his brothers served in the Dutch Army.
7. He was granted a British visa by the Consul General in Buenos Aires and was given a temporary passport by his Consul.
8. DE KONING has lived for a number of years in the Argentina, but has spent most of his time on the land, and was about 1800 kms away from Buenos Aires and hundreds of miles away from the nearest railway centre. He is therefore not in a position to give much information, but he is of the opinion that the Argentine people on the whole are anti-fascist and democratic minded. He believes, however, that the Government circles are still clinging desperately to totalitarian principles. The upper-classes, he states, are not pro-German, but are backing the Government which keeps itself in existence by force and corruption. Among the militarists, only a fraction is pro-fascist, but they are supporting the Government because it is feared that otherwise a revolution may break out.
9. I have come to the conclusion that Nikolaas Jakobus DE KONING is a good patriot and that his political convictions are perfectly sound. I tested him lengthily on this matter. He is very anti-German and is looking forward to an Allied victory.
10. This man should be released to the Dutch Forces as he was conscripted by his Government and sent over here for this purpose.
30-05-1942 P. VAN DIJCK
“El camino lo abrieron nuestros padres y nosotros seguimos la huella”. La frase fue pronunciada por Humberto Groenenberg, en la entrevista que le realizó este diario en marzo, días antes de recibir el reconocimiento como Agricultor Pionero en la Fiesta del Trigo.
Falleció ayer en nuestra ciudad, a los 86 años, y también -como lo hicieron sus padres- dejó una huella.
Hijo de Jacobo Groenenberg y Josina Van der Horst, recibió en su hogar -a partir del ejemplo- los valores del esfuerzo y la perseverancia. Hogar que creció con seis hijos, cuatro varones y dos mujeres.
Tenía 14 años cuando empezó a desempeñarse en el campo y percibió en sus tareas cotidianas los cambios que se fueron logrando con la evolución tecnológica. En la mencionada entrevista, recordó que “mi hermano mayor (Arie) trabajó varios años con caballos, para arar y en otras actividades. Después cuando vine yo se empezó a modernizar un poco”.
Otra expresión que pronunció tuvo mucho valor, porque refleja el espíritu con el que hacían todas las actividades, que no eran pocas ni livianas: “Había que trabajar y trabajar, pero la pasábamos bien”.
Su padre llegó al país en 1924 y se ocupó con Diego Zijlstra de labores en la cosecha. Volvió a Holanda, para retornar nuevamente a Argentina al año siguiente con un pequeño capital, junto a otros jóvenes.
En sociedad con Juan Verkuyl, alquiló un campo en la zona de San Cayetano, y posteriormente siguió trabajando con la familia Van der Horst. Ya había nacido Humberto cuando se produjo la mudanza al establecimiento La Federación, en Tres Arroyos, con otras familias. En 1938, con la colonización de San Francisco de Bellocq, su familia pasó de arrendar a ser propietaria.
Fue en La Federación donde comenzaron las clases del Colegio Holandés, luego de su padre viajara a Holanda para traer un maestro; también estuvo entre los fundadores de la Cooperativa Alfa, cuya apertura se produjo en abril de 1938. No sorprendió, en consecuencia, que el compromiso con las instituciones fuera transmitido y heredado por las generaciones siguientes.
Humberto integró la Cooperativa Agrícola de San Mayol y ejerció la presidencia durante tres años. En la Cooperativa Alfa fue síndico y director durante 31 años, así como formó parte de la comisión de entidades agropecuarias. Estuvo vinculado al Colegio Holandés, y participó de manera activa en la Iglesia Reformada.
Su trayectoria en la producción agrícola y también ganadera resultó muy positiva, con un proceso de expansión. Había dejado la vida en el campo hacía aproximadamente cinco años, pero de tanto en tanto visitaba el establecimiento “La Querencia”.
Habló, con este diario, de sus hijos Eddie, Marina, Jaapje y Robbie, sus profesiones y actividades. Mostraba orgullo por los suyos y describía con gratitud cada salida de pesca, los viajes y la posibilidad de disfrutar. El 12 de marzo, cuando recibió la distinción de Agricultor Pionero, dejó en claro el lugar que ocupaban sus seres queridos y que nada podría haber hecho solo.
“Para mí es un gran honor. Muchos podrían ocupar este lugar, pero no es mi mérito, detrás hay una familia, amigos y conocidos que han trabajando conmigo”.
Name: DE KONING, Nikolaas Jacobus.
P.T.C. 08-09-1944 (MI-5 & C only).
MI-5 advise 12-09-1944: Our only information about this candidate is contained in the LRC file RPS 7431.
Born: 16-09-1907, Krabbendijke.
Occupation: Estate manager, teacher.
Pte. Address: Willem Buijtewechstraat 141, Rotterdam.
Father: Jan de Koning.
Mother: Fenia Elsina Lampe.
Remarks 14-09-1944: To be trained as agent in the field, commencing 09-091944.
Mil. Service: June 1942 Joined Dutch Commandos - Private.
A little too old and slow for parachuting with safety. He was unco-ordinated and awkward at times. Credit must be given for his determination to complete the course after suffering slight concussion on his third descent. He made the night jump safely. FOUR DESCENTS THIRD CLASS.
??-10-1944 Left for the field.
04-05-1945 Arrived in UK.
DISPOSAL OF STUDENT 07-05-1945.
Rate of pay: Paid by Dutch.
Com. Training: 06-09-1944.
Schools Att: STS-51
Operational: Considerable. In the field from 09-10-1944 to 04-05-1945 Went on SAS operation, but worked for S.F.
after a time in the field.
Sec. Student: None.
Reas/Disp: No further work available. Required for work attached to Staff of Prince Bernhard.
Rec. by: Country Sec: Return to Unit.
The a/n was sworn out yesterday, 08-05-1945 and is being returned to unit.
From: Sgt. de KONING, N.J. (1047)
Nr. 2 Troop 1C (I.A.) Commando.
Sent on a mission by SAS on instructions from S.F.
Operational name: PORTIA II.
Mission: Instructions of the Underground Movement in the Northern part of Holland.
I started my mission on the 8th October, 1944, together with Adjutant GREENWOOD, Sgt. van der VEER and
Sgt. MICHELS. We were dropped by plane in VEENHUIZEN at 23:30 hrs. on 8th October, 1944. I had not received any special instructions, but I was supposed to get orders from Captain MACBETH (SAS mission GOBBO), who, at that time, was staying the province of DRENTHE.
However, this Captain never contacted me, with the result that I never received any instructions from him whatsoever.
Representatives of the Underground Movement were present at the dropping ground, but as I was dropped at too low an altitude, I landed about 800 yards away from the dropping ground. This caused much delay as i was only able to establish contact with the Underground people at 04:30 hrs. on the 9th October. It took me only 8 seconds to drop and therefore I had no opportunity to release my leg-bag. This resulted in my right knee and ankle being injured. I came down in my uniform.
My instructions were to operate in uniform, but as this proved to be impossible, I changed into civilian clothes after a few days. The first few days I stayed at the police barracks of the 2nd institute for tramps in VEENHUIZEN. Owing to an act of treason the Germans, in December, found weapons and part of my equipment there. Fifteen policemen were executed. (Where and when did this execution took place?)
On 10th October Sgt. MICHELS was sent by the Underground to GRONINGEN. I know that he had difficulties there, because, regularly the Underground in the province of GRONINGEN were rolled up by the Germans. I once contacted him.
On 11th Oct, Sgt. van der VEEN was sent to HOOGEVEEN to start work from there. he faced the same difficulties as Sgt. MICHELS, more so as he refused, in the beginning, to work in civilian clothes. I do not know how long he has been able to keep up this attitude. I never contacted him personally afterwards.
On 12th October, Adj. GREENWOOD and myself were sent by car to OUDDORP near DRACHTEN, to the operational HQ of the Frisian Underground. There I received a Dutch identity card and other documents, such as ration cards, etc. We separated here to work in various districts and we met again when FRIESLAND was liberated.
From that moment until the end of this mission I continually instructed on the subjects of weapon training and tactics, regularly I had discussions about tactics and operations with the Frisian Underground HQ.
I instructed on fighting and sabotage groups making the following places my bases:
ZWICHUM, HEEREVEEN (4x), SLOTEN de LEMMER, ECHTER, LEEUWARDEN, SNEEK (2x), HOMMERTS, HEEG (3x), GAASTMEER (2x), WIRDUM, BLIJA, TERNAARD, METSLAWIER, KOLLUM, ZANDBULTEN, AKKERWOUDE, DOKKUM, SCHARNEGOUTUM (2x), IJLST, WOUDSEND, GRAUW, OPPENHUIZEN, OOSTERSMEER, ACHTKARSPELEN.
The Germans never worried me too much. A few times they came for me in the morning as I had just left the night before.
On 3rd February, 1945 the provincial leader of the Underground operations was arrested by the Germans, together with his Adjutant (Philip Willem Pander & Folkert Wierda). Part of their records fell into German hands as well. For that reason, the Germans got hold of my name and photograph. As a result thereof I had to hide for a few days in order to obtain a different set of papers showing another name and an altered face (moustache, glasses, etc). At first I operated under the assumed name of PRINS or ARIE, later as WOLF or BERTUS.
Various times I gave Tactical assistance in receiving weapons and in smaller operations, such as release of prisoners, destructing of German ammunition and explosives dumps.
Following order from SHAEF Command, the Underground went into action on the 10th April 1945 at 01:30 hrs. I was, at that time, in OOSTERMEER, Near BERGUM. That night we obstructed the main road by causing some trees to fall across it by using explosives. The following nights, the Underground obliterated the road-signs. While the people in charge of bridges disappeared, we assisted by getting hold of the various tools which were necessary to operate the bridges. On the same night, the process of blocking the main roads was continued by putting up smaller obstacles.
On Saturday, 14th April 1945, at 04:00 hrs open action was started upon receipt of official orders. i was then in ACHTKARSPELEN. At about 12 noon, the Underground occupied, after arresting the guards, the bridge across the KOLONELSDIEP at BLAUWVERLAAR (AUGUSTINUSGA). Later in the day, about 140 Germans in 3 boats coming from GRONINGEN, attacked our position there. The Underground people, using a Bazooka and small arms, sank one boat and fired another. Many Germans were taken prisoner and we held the bridge. At about 18:00 hrs, the first Canadian Reconnaissance cars crossed the bridge going in the direction of DOKKUM.
At 14:00 hrs, the same day, the Underground people fought for and obtained the KOOS TEXTILIE bridge (DROGEHAM).
All during that Saturday and next Sunday, smaller groups of Germans coming from the south tried to cross that bridge, but never succeeded. Prisoners were taken by the Underground.
On the same Saturday, 16:00 hrs, I cycled to Underground HQ at OOSTERMEER. Crossing the SCHUITENBERG bridge the Germans stopped me for the last time and scrutinised my papers. Before I reached HQ a group of 12 Underground people attacked this bridge. It was guarded by 7 Germans. However, after the fight had started, about 60 German soldiers, Dutch SS, etc emerged from two boats lying in the canal. The Underground group had neither machine-guns nor anti-tank weapons. Two of them were captured, but they managed to get away. One of the others covered the retreat of the remaining nine. He was eventually taken prisoner and put on board on one of the boats. This boat left for BERGUMMERDAM, where the Germans found the bridge blown up.
Most of the Germans in the boat fled in the direction of the north. The remaining Germans put the Underground man in front of a firing squad, but the German officer in charge changed his mind at the last moment and made the man promise that he would surrender him and his men to the Canadians. They put down their arms, gave one weapon to the Underground man, who marched them off in the direction of the approaching Canadians. He contacted the Canadians near SUAMEER and handed the prisoners over. I think the name of the man was FOCKEMA.
I stayed in the surroundings of OOSTERMEER and BERGUM for the remainder of Saturday, all Sunday and Monday.
Later on Saturday, with assistance of a few Canadian armoured cars, The Underground occupied the SCHUILENBERG bridge. We took many prisoners. All Sunday, clashes occurred between isolated Germans and Netherlands SS groups, on one side and Underground people on the other in attempts of the first group to cross the SCHUILENBURG bridge and OOSTERMEER bridge. the following Tuesday, I put on my uniform again, which had been hidden for six months on a farm near LEEUWARDEN.
On Friday, I reported to S.F. 1 Cdn. Army. I was asked to report to Prince Bernhard's HQ in Breda on the following Saturday. I had difficulties in getting back to Britain as I did not know my operational name and my real name did not appear on the records of HQ S.F. 1 Cdn. Army. I reported back at HQ S.F. London on Friday, May 4th at 10:00 hrs.
Concerning the work of the Underground movement during the few weeks succeeding the liberation, I can report the following:-
Internal communications and communications with Canadian forward positions were excellent. On account of the assistance given by the technical staff of the PTT, they went underground a few days before open action started, leaving the Germans and the civilians without telephone communications. They managed, however, to maintain the communications lines. Communications with retreating Germans, more or less in confusion, hardly bothered to interfere with them.
However, usually hard fighting took place at DOKKUM Nieuwezijles. here the Underground suffered several casualties. In DOKKUM, two groups of the Landwacht were captured. Fourteen hours before the first Canadians arrived, DOKKUM was in the hands of the Underground.
Before the Canadians reached LEEUWARDEN, this town was completely controlled by the Underground, with the exception of one building, which was set on fire by the Germans, the Underground managed to prevent destruction of official buildings by the enemy.
I am glad to be able to report that the Underground in FRIESLAND was operating very efficiently under the command of Mr. Meyer (alias De Boer).
All original Underground groups, such as OD, KP and RVV were amalgamated in the NBS. Only fighting and sabotage groups of the NSB operated.
Adjudant GREENWOOD (Groenewout) and I insisted from the first moment on unity and discipline and I am glad to be able to say that, in FRIESLAND, both were obtained to a very high extent. The result was that the Underground operated in the most efficient way, and the Canadians were able to occupy FRIESLAND without any major effort.
From time to time, I contacted Lt. TAZELAAR's signal group, which I think, is doing a good job.
Unit: Royal Netherlands Army. 24 OCT 1945
Rank and Army or Personal No. Sgt. (1047)
Name: Nicolaas Jacobus de KONING
Sgt. de KONING was parachuted into enemy-occupied HOLLAND on 9th October 1944 as arms instructor to a resistance group. The original command arrangements did not function and he was left to work independently. He established himself in FRIESLAND and covered that region as adviser and instructor right up to the time he was over-run by Allied troops six months later.
Although he was dropped in uniform, KONING wore civilian clothes to attain the necessary freedom of movement and narrowly escaped capture more than once. The seizure of bridges, which were of direct assistance to advancing allied troops was accomplished successfully by his group and he carried out the tasks allotted to him with conspicuous succes.
It is recommended that Sgt. de KONING be awarded a Certificate of Commendation.
(Signed) C Mc.V Gubbins
15 Oct 1945