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Oral history interview with Joukje Grandia-Smits

Oral History | Accession Number: 1995.A.1285.15 | RG Number: RG-50.149.0015

Joukje Grandia-Smits (nom de guerre Clara), born Rotterdam, Netherlands, in 1917, describes her family; her employment as a teacher; the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940; reactions to the bombing of Rotterdam; the German’s initial attempt to conciliate the Dutch population; the persecution of Dutch Jews; German recruitment of Dutch labor and her evasion of the labor conscription; methods of defeating the German ration card system; the residence permit system; forging and stealing identity cards; resistance activities in the Netherlands from 1941 to 1944; the role of women in the resistance; her role and handling firearms; tensions between different types of resisters; the motivation of traitors and the pro-German sections of Dutch population; the concealment of men who had gone underground; the influence of the terrain on Dutch resistance; the attitude of Dutch Jews to German persecution; an incident in which a Jew in hiding insisted on seeing his wife; the assistance given to a shot-down Allied aircrew; the failure of Germans to conciliate Dutch civilians; her arrest and interrogation by Germans in June 1944 after being betrayed by a Dutch collaborator; eating an incriminating book; the rivalries in German security services; the nature of the interrogation and being accused of espionage; being sent to Ravensbrück in 1944; the train journey to the camp; the use of colored triangles for inmates; the refusal of former resistance prisoners to work for Germans; the heavy work women were made to do; the guard dogs used by Germans and winning over a guard dog; being selected for factory work at Dachau; the prisoners’ sabotage activities; march out of the camp and being liberated by US troops; returning to the Netherlands; the strike among Dachau prisoners over food; the go-slow tactics and sabotage employed by concentration camp workers; the German divide and rule tactics; precautions against informers; conditions at Ravensbrück; degree of knowledge of German civilians of concentration camp conditions; conditions on the journey to Dachau; the attitude of German civilians to camp inmates; attitude to Jehovah's Witnesses; and the use of acorns for dysentery.

Some video files begin with 10-60 seconds of color bars.
Grandia-Smits, Joukje
interview:  1984 December
4 sound cassettes (90 min.).
Record last modified: 2022-07-28 20:09:49
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