“Life is 10% what happens, and 90% what you do about it” … Art Spencer would tell me that every day of my life, and among Stoics this seems to be the popular mantra these days as well. No hold-my-beer series would be complete without at least one undercover operative fighting for what they believed right at the time, and what in time, proved so right. All while having no control over the war, only what she did to react to it…
Freddie Oversteegen was born in Haarlem, near Amsterdam on September 6, 1925.. then, in her teens, when the Nazi’s rolled into town, Freddie, her older sister Truus and their friend Hannie Schaft, blew up bridges and railway tracks with dynamite, smuggled Jewish children out of concentration camps and executed as many Nazis as she could, using a firearm hidden in the basket of her bike. But what struck me was how they lured their Nazis. As this post tells it, the trio had a routine: first approach the Nazi men in bars, and, having successfully seduced them, ask if they wanted to ‘go for a stroll’ in the forest, where, as Freddie herself put it, they would be ‘liquidated’.
Freddie died on September 5 – one day before her 93rd birthday. She was the last surviving member of the Netherlands’ most famous female resistance cell, who dedicated their lives to fighting Nazi occupiers and Dutch “traitors” just outside Amsterdam. “Schaft became the national icon of female resistance,” said Jeroen Pliester, the foundation’s chairman. Her story was taught to Dutch children and retold in a 1981 film, “The Girl With the Red Hair”.
Freddie told Vice that she coped with the traumas of the war “by getting married and having babies”.
Hey, hold my beer. Literally I guess.