RAPPORT & GEVOLGEN VAN DE EERSTE MISSIE
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 0403
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 (De Back), 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 (Theo Berding). 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