Monday, May 23, 2011

Diet Eman: Her Resistance Work Begins

Diet Eman and her fiance, Hein Sietsma, 1939.

When Diet first saws the German soldiers goose-stepping into her city, The Hague, she vowed not to speak a word of German as long as the Germans remained, even though she could speak it fluently. She also stopped socializing with Dutch friends whose families were eager to entertain German soldiers in their homes, homes that were now decorated with portraits of Hitler.

But Diet wanted to do more than avoid the German language and Nazi sympathizers. She and her fiance, Hein Sietsma, formed a Resistance group with some friends. At first, they just listened to the forbidden BBC broadcasts together and spread what they heard to as many people as they could. But when the Nazis began to enact laws against Dutch Jews, Diet's Resistance work began in earnest.

Excerpt from "Diet Eman: Courier for the Dutch Resistance" from Women Heroes of World War II: 26 Stories of Espionage, Sabotage, Resistance, and Rescue.

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