Mussert, Anton Adriaan, “Ad”, born on 11-05-1894 in the Hoogstraat 7 in Werkendam
of the marriage between headteacher Johannes Leonardus Mussert and his wife Frederika Witlam. Anton was the fourth child in the Mussert family. Eventually, five children would grow up in the Mussert household: sons Josephus Adrianus “Jo”, Max
and Anton and daughters Leni and Coby. Through his profession as a headteacher, Johannes Mussert and his family belonged to the elite of their village. A young Anton “Ad” Mussert (front row in the middle) at the public primary school in Werkendam. On the far right are his father, head teacher Johannes Leonardus Mussert. Johannes Mussert was a man of distinction who had two sides to his personality. For the outside world he seemed to be an endearing man who was always there to help children who had trouble learning. Within his family he showed a completely different side and would not shy away from using corporal punishment to establish his authority. He did, however, pay sufficient attention to his family. His wife Frederika was rather a different sort of person. She was a snob who exploited her privileged position. These opposing personalities led the marriage into heated arguments which were fought in public and sometimes even in the classroom. Their son Jo Mussert
joined the army and quickly climbed to the rank of lieutenant colonel. The later activities of his brother, Anton, would prove problematic during the Battle of the Netherlands. When the young Anton started primary school, his brother’s position in society gave him prestige. Their older brother Max had followed in the footsteps of his father and had become a teacher. Their older sister Leni was studying to become a teacher.
Anton went to secondary school in Gorinchem and showed himself to be an excellent student, according to school reports. Eights and nines adorn it for, for example, accounting, physics and gymnastics. Remarkable: for “High German language and literature” invariably four and five are noted.
On 08-01-1913, Anton’s father Johannes died suddenly. Anton was considerably affected by this and his education was to suffer. He was taken under the wing of Technical College assistant, Ploeg, and slowly climbed out of his melancholy. Mussert finished the year with excellent grades.
At the beginning of the First World War, Anton Mussert voluntarily signed up with the Dutch army. When he entered the barracks in Amsterdam, they did not know what to do with the short young man they were presented with. After being inspected, the 20-year-old Anton became a soldier within the artillery. After his very first exercise he was transferred to Schoonoord for corporal training. In the autumn of 1914 he earned his stripes. Shortly after, he was struck by kidney disease and released from service in 1915. After his illness, he went back to the Technical College in Delft to finish his education.
After his studies, jobs followed at Rijkswaterstaat and the Provinciale Waterstaat in Utrecht, where he was appointed chief engineer. On 14-12-1931, he abandoned his profession as a civil engineer and founded the National Socialist Movement political party, Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging, or NSB
, along with other like-minded activists such as Cornelis van Geelkerken.
Mussert founded the NSB in 1931, after a successful campaign against connecting the port of Antwerp with the Rhine. According to Mussert, Dutch politicians thereby squandered national interests. “There he discovered himself as a speaker,” said Pollmann. “People hung on his lips. He was the absolute leader within his party. Although he did have rivals. That also helped to make the race more and more extreme and anti-Semitic. ”
The NSB could not count on a lot of support in Werkendam. In the 1937 parliamentary elections – the last national ballot box before the outbreak of the war – just over 4 percent of the population voted for the party. Two years later in the Provincial Council elections “only” 2.25 percent. Nationally, the party never got more than 8 percent of the vote. “What played a part in Werkendam was that the Reformed church reacted strongly against the NSB,” said Pollmann. ,, I think the attitude of many Werkendammers was like that of most Dutch people. They kept to the surface. It was also a bit embarrassing to be an NSBer. ”
At the same time, there was a true cult around the person of Mussert in NSB circles. Following ‘il Duce’ Mussolini and ‘Führer’ Adolf Hitler, he allowed himself to be addressed with ‘the Leader’. The fact that the NSB leader was married to his aunt eighteen years her senior was not a subject of discussion. Affairs, such as those with his much younger grandniece, were not discussed.
In January 1941, SS Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler invited the leader of the NSB,Anton Mussert to Munich.
On 12-12-1941, NSB leader Anton Mussert paid a second visit to Adolf Hitler in Berlin, with Arthur Seyss Inquart, the Reichscommissar in the Netherlands, on the left.
. A special meeting, because he swears allegiance to the Fuhrer, with the words “I swear to you, Adolf Hitler, as Germanic leader faithfully to death. So truly help me God”, Mussert places the German interests above the Dutch.
Anton Mussert was married to his aunt Maria “Rie” Witlam
who was 18 years older, but had an affair with his niece Maria Cornelia (Marietje) Mijnlieff , born on 23.02.1923 in Utrecht (born in 1923) who was 29 years younger..
Death and burial ground of Mussert, Anton Adrian.
His birth house in Werkendam has since become a true “pilgrimage type”. Foeke Kuiper, whose father was active as head teacher in Werkendam from 1938 to 1954, lived during the war in the building at Hoogstraat 7. In 1944 there were even some people in hiding there, who tried to reach the liberated southern part of the Netherlands via the Biesbosch. The gun license with the weapon and bullets belonging to Anton Mussert,
Mussert,was sentenced to death after the liberation.
. On 07-05-1946 – four days before his 52nd birthday – he was executed on the Waalsdorpervlakte. Mussert was later buried in an anonymous grave, on the general cemetery in Den Haag. “You can discuss whether the death penalty was justified. Some high-ranking Nazis did get away with a prison sentence, “says Pollmann. In “Mussert & Co” she explains how Mussert collected wealth during the war, partly because newspapers such as Volk & Vaderland, which collaborated with the Germans, were his personal property.
The fact is also that Mussert never put a leg to the Jews. Jewish houses were put up for auction and bought by NSB members for next to nothing. Mussert sent party members to the front on behalf of the SS, discriminated against, and was an accessory to theft.
Mussert died as a rich man, that he tried to channel assets through his girlfriend and her mother, but after the war he turned out to have five houses and a few companies. His assets ran up to a million guilders, in reality this would have been many times higher. The NSB leader extorted companies and Jewish families during the war and robbed property of Jews who had been taken away.
He was buried in an undisclosed location on the general cemetery of Den Haag, until his body was almost removed by a Flemish right-wing Militant Order. The body’s location remains unknown in a mass grave.
Mussert was buried in grave 5/6/22 (class 5, line 6, number 22), but this was not a single grave, but a mass grave, which had room for sixty-four persons. The mass grave consisted of four wells with sixteen dead each, four side by side and four on top of each other. For Max Blokzijl,
NSBer and head of the press department of the National Socialist Department of Information and Arts and Mussert, however, the system followed was deviated from, so that they are not buried where this might be expected. This may have been done with a view to demonstrations, but it is no longer clear. Since it was unclear where the first well started and where the last ended, it is not possible to say with certainty where Mussert was buried, except that he was in the top layer. Even for the staff it was not clear exactly where Mussert was. It is therefore possible that the director Rie Mussert also pointed to the wrong place.
When Captain Bom and Lieutenant Oosten Kruithof, Kruithof here standing with his wife and parents, both reserve officers of the Light Division, heard on May 14 -1945, while carrying out their picket duties, that Jo Mussert was in Sliedrecht, they decided to arrest him there. They did this purely on their own suggestion that Mussert must be a traitor. In this way they hoped to prevent him from causing things to go wrong there too. Lieutenant Kruithof in particular showed a great zeal for arresting Mussert.Mussert was just in a staff meeting with other officers from his depot when Captain Bom came to report his arrest to the superior. During the arrest, Mussert refused to simply be arrested. Lieutenant Kruithof, who was waiting in the hallway, then drew his pistol and stormed into the room. He ordered the superior to raise his hands in a high tone. The lieutenant then believed, at least according to his later statement, that Mussert was reaching for his gun and that is why he promptly shot him with four bullets. Mussert was seriously injured and taken to the hospital in Gorinchem, where he died shortly after emergency surgery in the late evening.The statements of other bystanders were unanimous that there did not appear to be any emergency defense by Lieutenant Kruithof, because no one acknowledged that Mussert had reached for his gun. Only some movement of the arms was observed, but certainly not the circumstance that the lieutenant believed he had observed.
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