The Guardian

‘Her war never stopped’: the Dutch teenager who resisted the Nazis

Freddie Oversteegen, who has died at 93, waged a campaign of killing and sabotage – but struggled to adapt to peacetime
Freddie Oversteegen died the day before her 93rd birthday. Photograph: Courtesy of National Hannie Schaft Foundation

The first thing the Nazis took from Freddie Oversteegen was her bed.

Her mother, Trijn, a communist bringing up her children independently in the Dutch city of Haarlem, sheltered Jews, dissidents and gay people as they fled Germany in the 1930s. Oversteegen, who was seven when Adolf Hitler came to power, bunked in with her big sister Truus to make room.

It was the start of a struggle that would last until she died on 5 September, the day before her 93rd birthday, in a nursing home not far from where, as teenagers, she and Truus carried out a campaign of

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Guardian

The Guardian10 min read
The Best Things In Life Are Free … But Where Are They?
From amber fishing in the Baltic to mushroom hunting in Russia, there’s lots of stuff that doesn’t cost a penny
The Guardian2 min read
Why The Joke Facebook Page Calling For People To Storm Area 51 Went Viral
More than a million people have actually RSVP’d – and the military have issued a serious response.
The Guardian2 min read
Permafrost Thaw Sparks Fear Of 'Gold Rush' For Mammoth Ivory
Prospectors in Russia dig up remains of extinct animals for trade worth an estimated £40m a year