The Putten raid (Dutch: Razzia van Putten), October 1st 1944 .

01-10-2015

The Putten raid (Dutch: Razzia van Putten) was one the worst civilians raids conducted by the Germans in occupied Netherlands during the World War II. On 1 October 1944, a total of 602 men – almost the entire male population of the village – were taken from Putten, in the central Netherlands, and deported to various concentration camps in  Nazi Germany. Only 48 returned at the end of the war. The action was undertaken as a reprisal for a Dutch resistance attack on a vehicle carrying personnel from the Wehrmacht under General Friedrich Christiansen. On the night of 30 September-1 October 1944, a car carrying two officers and two corporals of the German Army was ambushed by members of the Dutch resistance near the Oldenallerbrug bridge between Putten and Nijkerk. In the attack, a resistance fighters named Frans Slotboom was wounded but later died. One German officer, Leutnant Otto Sommer, was also wounded, escaped to a nearby farmhouse to raise the alarm; but died the following day. The two German corporals fled while the second officer, Oberleutnant Eggart, was injured and captured. Due to his wounds, the resistance fighters abandoned him in a place where he could be found by the Germans. The German reprisal raid was conducted the following day. At the command of General Christiansen, Putten was surrounded by German forces led by Fritz Wilhelm Hermann Fullriede,  with orders “put them all against the wall”. The women and men of the village were captured and separated, and over one hundred houses in the village were set on fire.

  1944-10-1 Razzia van Putten 98605  Six men and a woman were shot dead during the raid. The women were held at the church until 9pm, while the men and boys were detained separately nearby at the village school.   On 2 October, 661 men between the ages of 18 and 50 were taken to Amersfoort concentration camp, where 59 older or unfit men were released. The remaining 602 men left Amersfoort on 11 October and taken to Neugamme concentration camp as forced labour. During the transportation, 13 men escaped by jumping from the train. From Neuengamme, some were moved on to other camps or sub-camps, including Ladelund, Bergen-Belsen, Meppen-Versen, Beendorf, Wöbbelin and Malchow. Only 48 men returned after the end of the war, but another 5 died from their mistreatment after they arrived home. A total of 552 men died, mostly victims of malnutrition, slave labour and infectious diseases.

After the end of WW2, Christiansen was arrested, convicted of war crimes, and was imprisoned in Arnhem, the Netherlands until 1948. In 1951, his home town of Wyk auf Föhr named a street after him, which sparked controversy in Germany and the Netherlands; the town council took away his name from the street in 1980.

Christiansen passed away in Aukrug, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany in 03-12-1972, age 92  . Fritz Fullriede died age 74 on 03-01-1969 in Bad Oldesloe.

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