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 Guardian6 min read
From Carnage To A Camp Beauty Contest: The Endless Allure Of Troy
Why has the ravaged fallen city been such an inspiration to artists for millennia? Ahead of an epic show at the British Museum, our writer unravels its extraordinary influence
The Guardian2 min readSociety
Feminism Is Now Used To Sell Almost Everything - Even Breast Implants | Yomi Adegoke
Body positivity, inclusivity and empowerment have been co-opted by the beauty and clothing industry to flog us yet more unnecessary products
The Guardian7 min read
I Wish I'd Never Been Born: The Rise Of The Anti-natalists
Adherents view life not as a gift and a miracle, but a harm and an imposition. And their notion that having children may be a bad idea seems to be gaining mainstream popularity