Feldmeijer, Johannes Hendrik “Henk”

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Feldmeijer, Johannes Hendrik “Henk”, born in Assen on 30-11-1910 as Johannes Hendrik Veldmeijer. In 1915, his family’s name was changed to Feldmeijer. He used only his middle name, making him Henk Feldmeijer. He graduated from high school in 1928 with top grades in every subject, and started studying mathematics and physics. He interrupted his education to perform national service in 1931. During this period he met a leader of the recently established Stormtroopers of the National Socialist Movement, NSB.    He was inspired by the ideas of this movement to become member number 479 in 1932. As one of the first 1.000 members, he had direct access to the movement’s leader Anton Mussert.
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    Mussert was executed by a firing squad, age 51, on 07-05-1946 on the Waalsdorpervlakte, the Hague. Feldmeijer made many speeches in and around Groningen about the need of a strong leader, Mussert and against democracy. His speaking talents were quickly recognized, and he got a paid position in the propaganda department. He made many journeys to Nazi Germany, during which he had meetings with SS members; he also visited Scandinavia and Mussolini’s   Italy. After failing his exams in 1935, he broke off his education and became a full-time employee of the NSB stationed in Utrecht. Because of his membership in the NSB he was fired as a reserve-officer of the army in 1935. Feldmeijer belonged to the volkisch group in the NSB, just like Meinoud Rost van Tonningen. , who died in the prison of Scheveningen, age 51, on 06-06-1945, probably suicide. (see his wife Rost van Tonningen).  This group tried to cultivate the Germanic part of Dutch history, and promoted a racist and anti-Semitic view. Feldmeijer had many secret contacts in German SS circles, of which his NSB superiors were not aware. The Volkisch group in the NSB caused a radicalization of the party’s viewpoints. They idealized the lives of the Germanic forefathers of the Dutch people, and the proponents of these theories performed much research on these ideas. In 1937, Feldmeijer became an important member of the organization Der Vaderen Erfdeel (Heritage of our forefathers), renamed Volksche Werkgemeenschap (Volkisch working community)  in 1940; This group performed the research for the Volkisch group in the NSB. The Dutch people had to learn to realize that their culture was a Germanic culture; an important step in the direction of the SS way of thinking. Feldmeijer was strongly attracted to the SS ideology, but had to keep his ties with this organization a secret as the NSB did not fully appreciate this. In the autumn of 1937, he was forced to leave the headquarters of the NSB in Utrecht because of a conflict with the NSB leader Anton Mussert, and was made the district leader of Salland. In August 1939 Rost van Tonningen appointed him as commander of the Mussert guards. Feldmeijer based the organization of this paramilitary group of several hundred men on the SS organization in Germany. In 1939 he made several trips to Berlin to advise the Germans on the Dutch language transmissions of Radio-Bremen. On 03-05-1940 the Dutch government imprisoned him in Fort Ooltgensplaat, where he shared a cell with Rost van Tonningen. He was later transported to France via Belgium, and on 30-5-1940 he was liberated by German troops in Calais. On 02-06-1940 Feldmeijer and Rost van Tonningen arrived back in Den Haag. That same night Rost van Tonningen was invited to a meeting with Heinrich Himmler and Arthur Seyss Inquart  to discuss the nazification of the Netherlands and the establishment of a Dutch SS. A few days later, Rost van Tonningen introduced Feldmeijer to Hanns Albin Rauter
  , the German head of the Dutch occupied territories police, who was impressed with the vigor and charisma of the young Dutchman. Hanns Albin Rauter was convicted in the Netherlands of crimes against humanity and executed by firing squad on 24-03-1949, age 54. Feldmeijer was tasked with establishing and commanding the Nederlandsche SS . Mussert had opposed the creation of the SS in the Netherlands, but German pressure had made him agree to its establishment. De Nederlandsche SS had a maximum membership of 4.000 on 01-11-1942. It always had a double standard, as it was seen as part of the NSB and at the same time part of the German SS. In theory, it was under the leadership of Anton Mussert but in reality Feldmeijer reported to Himmler and his representative in the Netherlands, Hanns Albin Rauter. Feldmeijer stimulated his members to contribute actively to the German war effort:  he himself served at the front twice: April–May 1941 as a gunner in the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler in Yugoslavia and Greece, and June 1942 – March 1943 as Flak commander in SS-Division Wiking at the Eastern Front in Southern Russia. In March 1943 he was promoted to SS Standartenführer in the Allgemeine SS and in March 1944, after completion of an officer training course, he was promoted to SS in the Waffen-SS. He was decorated with the Iron Cross 2nd Class  , the  and the Verwundetenabzeichen in black . Feldmeijer had many conflicts with other members of the NSB because of his strong dedication to the SS. The SS wanted a complete integration of the Netherlands in the Greater German Reich. On the other hand, Mussert wanted a German League of Nations, with Germany as a leading member of the European union of states. The German occupation authorities saw in Feldmeijer a willing tool to keep Mussert’s ambitions in check. The conflict between the SS and the NSB came to a boil in May 1943, and while Feldmeijer and Mussert made a public appearance together to show their good relations, in practice all ties between the NSB and the German SS were severed. Feldmeijer supported the retaliatory measures taken against the resistance actions against NSB members. He was a member of the Sonderkommando-Feldmeijer between September 1943 and September 1944, and executed at least 20 people for resistance activities in an operation named Silbertanne Aktion. Other prominent members of the commando were Heinrich Boere, Boere died on 01-12-2013 in prison custody in Fröndenberg, age 92 and Klaas Carel Faber    who died on 24-07-2012, age 90 and his brother Pieter Johan. In February 1945 he was appointed to command a battalion of the Landstorm Nederland.

Death and burial ground of Feldmeijer, Johannes Henk.

While driving to his position at the front, his car was strafed by an Allied fighter plane and Feldmeijer was killed, on 20-02-1945, age 44. He was buried in Groningen on the Esserveld cemetery, several days later. Himmler sent SS Obergruppenführer Hanns Rauter a telegram after hearing of the death of Feldmeijer: I am very sad over the death of Feldmeijer. Please convey my condolences to his wife. Feldmeijer was the future of Holland in my eyes. Don’t bother to offer my condolences to Mister Mussert, as he never knew what kind of man he had in Feldmeijer.

 

 

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