Hall, Walraven Wally van.

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Hall, Walraven Wally van.

Hall, Walraven “Wally” van, born 10-02-1906 in Amsterdam into an influential Dutch family, as the third child of the banker Adriaan Floris van Hall and Petronella Johanna Boissevain.

  Van Hall initially studied to become an officer in the merchant marine, but after having worked for some years as third mate he was rejected because of his eyesight. Unable to work in the merchant marine, he moved to New York in 1929. His brother, future mayor of Amsterdam Gijs van Hall

 who already worked at a bank, helped him get a job with a Wall Street firm. Having thus been introduced to banking, he returned to the Netherlands and became a banker and stockbroker. Gijs van Hall died age 73 0n 22-05-1977 in Amsterdam.

After the Germans invaded the Netherlands on 10-05-1940 and the bombing on Rotterdam

Rotterdam,_Laurenskerk,_na_bombardement_van_mei_1940 , a fund was established to help families of merchant-sailors (who were stranded abroad when war broke out). The rain of bombs, which fell in the early afternoon, lasted only fifteen minutes, but the devastating effect, partly due to the fires that started, was enormous. More than 24,000 homes were burned, 32 churches and 2 synagogues were destroyed. About 650-900 people died and 80,000 Rotterdammers were left homeless. The heaviest bombing after 14-05-1940 was the bombing of Rotterdam-West of 31-03-1943, in which 400 people died and 16,500 people were left homeless.

Van Hall was asked to help set up the Amsterdam chapter together with his brother Gijs. Because of his banking experience, he was able to provide funding with the help of guarantees by the Dutch government in London. Soon the Germans began taking anti-Jewish and forced labour measures and resistance against these measures increased. Van Hall expanded his fund-raising activities for all kinds of resistance groups and he became known as the banker of the resistance.

One of the ways in which van Hall raised funds for the resistance was the “robbing” of the De Nederlandsche Bank, Dutch National Bank. With the approval of the Dutch government-in-exile, the van Halls managed to obtain as much as 50 million Dutch guilders. According to Nout Wellink , president of the bank in 2010, this figure is comparable to half a billion Euros nowadays. Together with his brother, van Hall, falsified banknotes and changed them in the bank for the real notes. With these, paper money was collected. This was done behind the back of Rost van Tonningen (see Florrie Rost van Tonningen), president of the bank and a notorious member of the Dutch Nazi party National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) under its formal leader Anton Mussert.

  Anton Mussert was executed, age 51 on 07-05-1946, by a firing squad on the Waalsdorpervlakte , a site near The Hague, where hundreds of Dutch citizens had been killed by the Nazi regime not so far from the graveside of van Hall.

Another way of collecting money was borrowing from wealthy Dutch people. As a proof of their investments, they got a worthless old stock, but after the war they could get their money back in exchange for the stock paper.

In 1944, Walraven was the leader of the NSF (National Support Fund) and he was the coordinator of the Kern (“nucleus”) and the Driehoek (“triangle”), a cooperation of various resistance groups. The NSF supported a variety of resistance groups and underground papers like Trouw , Het Parool and Vrij Nederland.

Walraven had various nicknames in the resistance movement: he was called the Olieman (the oilman) for his abilities to lubricate the friction between resistance groups. Like this group in my hometown of Eindhoven helping the 101 AB airbornes . P1100262 Other names were Van Tuyl, Oom Piet (Uncle Pete) and Barends.

His personal courier was Hanneke Ippisch    author of the book Sky. Her job was to find a safe meeting place every Friday for the resistance leaders. Hanneke Ippisch died at age 87 on 15-04-2012 of Alzheimer’s disease in Missoula, Montana, U.S.

Death and burial ground of Hall, Walraven Wally van..

     On 27-01-1945, the meeting place was given away by a member of the resistance who had been arrested the day before and who wrongly believed the members of the meeting would know he had been arrested and wouldn’t attend the meeting. The prison in Amsterdam.  Although the Germans had a vague idea there had to be somebody who coordinated the finances for the resistance, they never found out it was van Hall. In January 1945, Teus van Vliet, a founding member of the Dutch resistance, was betrayed by the Dutch collaborator Johan “Han” van Lom . Van Vliet broke under interrogation and as a result the Germans were led to several leading members of the resistance, including van Hall  Van Hall was subsequently executed in Haarlem, with seven other, near the Jan Gijzen bridge, as revenge for the death of a high-ranking police officer. His last words were “I think of you loves of my life.” His loves were his wife and children Tilly van Hall   children Attie, Aad and Mary-Ann . What he did made a huge impact on war effort and he paid for it with his life. He was a hero in every sense of the word. After the war, he was buried in Overveen on the Erebegraafplaats Bloemendaal (Honorary Cemetery) close to the resistance girl with the “Red Hair”. Janneke “Hannie” Schaft  a Dutch hero.

Johan van Lom fled Amsterdam after the arrests in January 1945, and returned in March. After a meeting with a resistance member he was abducted and interrogated, and sentenced to die by poisoning. Either he refused to drink the poison or it did not have the desired effect and he was finally dispatched with a shot to the neck on 06-03-1944, his body dumped in the Keizersgracht. He was 26 years old

Walraven van Hall was posthumously awarded by the Dutch government with the Dutch Cross of Resistance (Verzetskruis). The United States awarded him with the Medal of Freedom with Gold Palm.

In honor of his deeds in the resistance a monument was erected in the fall of 2010 near the Nederlandsche Bank at the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam.

van Hall DSC02289



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