Baar, Hilbrand Johannes, born 12-08-1924 in Haren in Groningen, the Netherlands, the son of signal guard at the railways Arent Baar (Bierum, Groningen 1897) and maid Henderika Vrieling (Haren, Noord-Brabant 1900). He is the eldest of three children. Bram goes to the Mulo for 1.5 years, but stops because he wants to become a police officer or soldier. As a 15-year-old he became a grocer at the Albert Heijn Supermarkt. His family has since moved to Hulshorst in the Veluwe, because his father has been appointed station manager there. Baar works first in Putten and then in Nunspeet and gets his middle class diploma.
The family lives at Hulshorst station and during the war Jews and other undocumented train passengers quickly disappear into the house unseen when they step off the train. For many it is a hiding place and a stopover on the way to other hiding places. Only at the end of the war does this become too dangerous.Baar decides – in consultation with the resistance – to follow training as a police officer at the Westenberg Kazerne in Schalkhaar near Deventer at the end of 1942. This is a notorious place, because it was set up in July 1941 to breed pro-German Dutch police officers, who help the occupying forces arrest Jews and members of the resistance. As an agent, Baar is stationed in Nijmegen. There he guards a monastery where senior NSB police officers meet and there is a remnant of the Hague population register, which was brought to Nijmegen after a bombing in April 1944. At the request of the resistance, Bram has the identity cards of wanted resistance people disappear. He is later placed in Amsterdam, but finally hides on the sign of the resistance with uniforms and weapons. The National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands, NSB, under command of Anton Mussert
was a Dutch fascist and later Nazi political party that called itself a “movement”. As a parliamentary party participating in legislative elections, the NSB had some success during the 1930s. It remained the only legal party in the Netherlands during most of World War II. Anton Mussert after the war, he was convicted and executed for high treason on 07-05-1946, aged 51 in The Hague, Netherlands.
In consultation with the underground resistance, he was placed as an infiltrator in November 1942 at the Police Training Battalion (P.O.B) in the Westenberg Barracks in Schalkhaar. This training battalion had a particularly bad name because it was set up (in July 1941) by the occupying forces to train pro-German Germans who would help the occupying forces in arresting members of the resistance and Jews. Research from a more recent date reveals that within the Police Training Battalion, not everyone was an equal supporter of Nazi ideology.
The intention was that Baar would try to change the mentality from within. Among other things, he wrote a report in which he reported how the Germans tried to incite the aspiring agents to persecution of the Jews, the latter incidentally with limited success. He also tried to change the mentality by adapting lyrics from German songs.
Death and burial ground of Baar, Hilbrand Johannes.
In September 1944, Baar joined Joop Migchelsen’s Hulshorst-Hierden resistance group full-time. He is commander and instructor and the right hand of the leader. The members provide food vouchers for people in hiding, forge identity cards, distribute illegal newspapers and magazines, pass on messages, transport weapons and explosives and hide pilots at Landgoed Stakenberg near Elspeet. On 30-09-1944, Baar is arrested along with two friends during an arms transport, but he escapes by knocking out a German while bullets are flying around his ears. In hiding, he is still ready for the resistance day and night. Baar smuggles paratroopers and takes care of a group of six English pilots. He has nerves of steel. When his parents tell him to be careful, his answer is: “Whoever works underground, know if they catch him, he will get the bullet, who is afraid of it should not go.” Finally, on January 13-01-1945, he was arrested along with others from the resistance group. In the afternoon, when crossing the railway tracks, he walks straight into a trap of the SD. Heavy interrogations and torture follow in the Jan van Schaffelaer barracks in Ermelo, while his friends have to watch, but Baar is silent. In February he is imprisoned in De Kruisberg. On 9 May, Baar will be buried in Nunspeet at the same time as the group of Rademakersbroek victims, Dionisius Dirk Bakker and father and son IJzerman. Their graves, together with the grave of another local resistance member, form a monument.
Initially, the occupier wanted all men from the Aaltenseweg area to be executed in retaliation. This was prevented by mayor Joost Boot of the then municipality of Wisch. In the early morning on 02-03-1945 46 Todeskandidaten were deported from prison in Doetinchem. They arrived at the field at Rademakersbroek around 8 am. The execution platoon, composed of members of the same division to which the four soldiers killed by the resistance group belonged, carried out the sentence. After some of the SS men had had breakfast on the farm, the bodies of the 46 were driven by four farmers from the area on a flat cart to the Rentinkkamp cemetery in Varsseveld around half past eleven.
Another member of the resistance group Toon van Daalen (Arnhem, 24-08-1902 – Wageningen, 05-02-1992) was a Dutch merchant and member of the resistance during the German occupation. He was acting commander of the National Knokploeg (LKP) and the Domestic Armed Forces (BS). On 04-01-1945 Van Daalen was arrested and he was detained successively in Kamp De Kruisberg and Kamp Wöbbelin until his liberation.
The 4-year-old Janny Winkelman saw the revenge action from a stable window of a nearby farm. “I saw them all lined up in the field with their hands tied behind their backs. It was a beautiful spring breeze, beautiful weather. I saw their hair fluttering. They all stood dead still with their faces averted.”Janny was startled when she heard the first gunshots and went quickly to the cellar. When calm had returned, she went back to the stable window. There she caught a glimpse of the end of the execution: “They were all on the floor, the whole row. The shooting was over, it was dead quiet. Then a German came and stepped over the corpses. He gave everyone another shot of grace.”
On the “Honor Roll of Fallen 1940-1945” Wisch is mentioned as the place of death and the rank of Deputy Commander of the Interior Forces.
The parents of Hilbrand Baar, Arent Baar and Hendrika Vrieling received the Yad Vashem award for hiding Jews. They belong to the Dutch Just among the Peoples
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