People who went into hiding


The first group existed of Jews who wanted to withdraw from deportation to Poland. It is wry that relatively few Frisian Jews were able to hide because the underground organization had not yet been established when deportations in the summer of 1942 began. In the course of that year they were deported to Auschwitz and Sobibor via camp Westerbork. When in 1943 for the second year in a row large groups of Jews from Amsterdam were to be deported, going into hiding was better organized and most people were a lot less naive. At that point they no longer believed that the Jews would await a human fate after deportation. The total of Jews going into hiding is being estimated at 25,000, 3,000 of whom ended up in Friesland. 

Students and veterans

In the spring of 1943 students had to sign the so-called ‘Loyaliteitsverklaring’ (loyalty statement). If they refused they were put to work. Many went into hiding because of this. A few weeks later veterans who had fought in 1940 were called upon to come forward as prisoners of war. The real reason was to deploy them for the ‘Arbeitseinsatz’ (forced labour). It involved a group of 260,000 men. Almost every family was effected by this or at least they knew someone who was. Because of this the resistance spirit was aroused; resulting in the April-May strikes. In the long run de willingness to give people a save hiding place increased significantly.
The demand for labour forces affected ever increasing groups of men in society, in correspondence with which the need for hiding places grew.

Railway strikers

A third large group consisted of participants of the ‘Spoorwegstaking’ (railway strike) of september 1944. Tram personnel also went on strike and had to take refuge as a consequence.


Smaller groups of people who had to hide were resistance people wanted by the Germans and crew members of crashed allied aircraft. The latter group wished to return to Britain as soon as possible. There was in intricate illegal network trying to help them escape by means of Switzerland or Spain. Many were betrayed and ended up in German hands after all.