Bleskensgraaf – The joy in Bleskensgraaf for the liberation of the Germans has become even bigger. The three resistance fighters who were arrested by German soldiers on Liberation, against all expectations, returned to the village. They have been stuck in the Kriegswehrmachtgefängnis jobs and would be shot. But a climbing party and a portion of luck have saved their lives.

Almost no one had counted on our return, says Rien Clay, one of three resisters. "When I first came home, Coverage mayor came along with my mother. Many comforting words he spoke, completely permeated by sadness. When my mother tried to make him understand that I just sat next to him on the bench for the home, He spoke as usual. "

Rien Clay is on 5 May nabbed together with his comrades Piet de Haan and Henk Fricke in an attempt to disarm the German troops in and around Bleskensgraaf. Piet and Rien tell what has happened to them the last few days.


"When I went here Friday night to create an outside air, I heard chimes. And later a steam whistle. I thought involuntarily to peace", Piet says looking back. "In the north to see his lights. And Everyone was elated. I not only believed and had my brother Theo out sent out. But he came back and said it was peace!”

The commander of the local Interior Forces allows all members of the local resistance group enlist to disarm the Germans. He informed everyone and is itself a group to Kraaienbos at the eastern end of Vineyards. Among them are Of Clay, De Haan and Fricke. The group meets for the German air observatory is located there. Its commander refused to surrender, which the Dutch commander BS shoot him. At this time there are four Germans in the barracks of the post, which is well defended by walls and barbed wire.

The death of the Germans is a setback, says De Haan: "The Germans would surely come looking for their commander." The Dutch commander decides that some of them the body of his German counterpart to quickly hide in the cemetery in Bleskensgraaf, while Van Clay, De Haan and Fricke to erase the traces of the shooting and all German citizens have to hold it out of the barracks and disarming. They can shoot emphatically until the Germans were firing. The next day would send the Interior Forces gain.

Op 5 mei, even before the promised troops arrive, two Germans come to the barracks. They seek their commander. Clay: "I tell them that the war was ended, they have to get their comrades and have to come unarmed. "Then the other Germans are indeed out. But instead of to the Resistance men walking, they jump on the bike and ride the other way. Clay Rooster and take a look at the barracks and make weapons, ammunition, a radio and a swastika booty.

BS-ers. Foto: De Waard in Wartime

Too early

Meanwhile, it remains silent from Bleskensgraaf. "We began to suspect that it was wrong. We had started too early ", says De Haan. One of the opposition people decide to go to Bleskensgraaf to request further. Clay, De Haan and Fricke remain. Then arrives a car full of armed Germans off and come running toward them on the quay.

Rooster: "The throng would have been a fantastic goal for our stengun, but we were afraid to take responsibility for our, because we might not fire before they did this or threatened to do. "But wait until the Germans are with them, men dare not. So they flee into the meadow.

It is not long before the Germans see them. They open the fire on the three with an automatic weapon. "We took cover in a ditch along rambling and we splashed through the water went further while the sleeves intense and virtually uninterrupted afgaven fire on us. "

Rien Clay sees the hopelessness of their situation and proposes to give up. He is gambling that they, Now the release is a fact, will survive. De Haan wants to fight to the death, but decides to resign his services. "I do not know if you'll understand, but here I felt that I was a traitor. "

The Germans are angry at the three and interrogate them in the barn. Why they had shot? The war had indeed ended. "They did not shoot, but we had shot at them. We left it at that, because they were obviously still be right ", says De Haan resigned.

The Germans still ask where the dead commander remained. They tell. "After a time we had to sit in a truck. Also the sleeves climbed in and we went into the unknown. "

The ride goes to Bleskensgraaf where the Germans pick up the corpse of the German commander. If the truck is stationary, Of Clay makes an escape attempt. He grabs the machine gun from a German and want to shoot. Rooster: "The thing was happy to secure, otherwise what the course with us all three ended badly. We packed solid Rien to ensure that he was still crazy things. "


The Germans bind the three fixed by a thin wire, Loading the body of the German commander and put up with all kinds of stops heading to Meerkerk. The delay gives the go men hope. "The Germans had indeed capitulated so the Tommies could come soon." But they also hear of the Germans ask his commander if he can shoot the three. Who refuses to.

The ride ends in a hotel. They get all kinds tirades about him. "The course began as the sleeves the habit, Schweinhunde met a push Rammschweine. Ja, they said, you will not see the sun rise. They had to shoot you down their throats, then you choke on your own blood. "

But no execution follows, or a night in a boarded room. They are close to each other to each other warm to hold. "If you feel so had seen you would surely have laughed but Henk and I had our wet clothes need heat we did not have pneumonia increase."

Meanwhile, the sixth of May. The Germans seem to be friendly and give the men coffee. Monitoring slackens and the three make escape plans if the night would fall. From Clay apparent known in the area of ​​Meerkerk and makes in his mind already a route via a port and the polder direction Noordeloos. But so far it does not.

The men go back on transportation, this time to the War Wehrmacht prison the Gansstraat jobs where they arrive late evening. They eat what, get them water to wash, cups of water and a cigarette. It seems good to see. But then a security guard who told them that the next day will be shot.

Detention Utrecht at the Gansstraat. Foto: Wikimedia, Japiot


Panic breaks out at Fricke and Van Clay. But De Haan keep his cool. Nothing: "When the morning light through the windows fell inside, crawled Piet, by means of girders and joists to top. There chillier with bars were sure. How exactly fikste I do not know. But I'm sure he was through the bars with one arm. "

De Haan says he with the blue and white bracelet Interior Forces, they have to have their left arm, waving to attract attention from passersby. Miraculously see Canadian soldiers. And then begins the three liberation. Clay: "At the gate of the prison gave me a lady a bunch of lilacs and some kissing."

The men running from Utrecht to Gouda. thence they are by other members of the Interior Forces with a car brought the Bergstoep. There is at the moment no boat to take them to the Lek sail. That only succeed next day. Thereafter, they run of Streefkerk to Bleskensgraaf.

"The reunion of all was amazing", From Clay beaming yet. Bakker Jan Baan confirms. "The minister had on Sunday prayed for them in the church. When she came back a few days later. Job Clay, Riens father, was with us the land to digging, We have some land behind the house, and then came three boys. Father Of Clay was so look, then said,: "I think there's Rien!"And sure enough, since she came back. "

How it went

The war is over, but that is the job of the opposition is not yet. need with lists 'wrong' Dutch are arrested. The particular series were all composed during the war. Another member of the opposition Bleskensgraafse, Jan Jongeneel, tells: "Typical was that when we saw those lists, we said the most: "What have these people done wrong?"And those people are all removed from the list. Finally, there are a dozen arrested, but what exactly that I still do not. I heard later agree that all hatred and envy was at the root, and people like that wanted to get rid of each other. "

Rien Clay later in life (own picture)

Piet de Haan drowns in 1 februari 1953 during the flood. Rien Clay dies at 11 maart 2016, a month before he was to be a hundred years. Henk Fricke are no data.

Piet de Haan, middle. Foto: De Waard in Wartime


Report by Piet de Haan (given the use of the new spelling written between 1947 en 1-2-1953), in the 90s supplemented by Rine Clay.

Author: Aries van Meeteren

published: 08-05-2019

story number: 98

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