Weidner’s Accomplices

The Dutch-Paris Escape Line led by Weidner grew to include more than 300 people who were involved at least occasionally in the operation. A smaller number of people worked continuously in Weidner’s network.  The following is a partial list of some of the members of Dutch-Paris. Biographical details have been selected from the primary documents contained in the Foundation’s Weidner Collection.

Bazerque, Jean-Louis (“Charbonnier”): passeur who worked for Dutch-Paris guiding refugees and Allied aviators across the Pyrenees mountains; he died in a German ambush

Beaujolin, Gilbert: Weidner’s friend and business partner who provided material aid and other support to Dutch-Paris; Beaujolin was also part of the spy network “Alliance” led by legendary spymaster Madeleine “The Hedgehog” Fourcade, whose two young children escaped to Switzerland with Weidner’s help (although they faced a near disaster when their peasant guide abandoned them near the border)

Billot, Madeleine (“Mado”): a woman whose family hid Weidner and Rens after their escape from the Milice in Toulouse; she was deported to Ravensbrück and survived to tell Weidner of his sister’s fate

Bol, Jan: a forger of false documents in the Brussels branch of Dutch-Paris who was arrested and tortured by the Gestapo along with Verloop and Jacobstahl

Brantsen, Jacob Carel Julius Baron: An official of the Red Cross in Paris who was part of Dutch-Paris and worked closely with Nykerk after Laatsman’s arrest; he died in Buchenwald concentration camp

Chait, Edmond Salomon (“Moen”): a Jewish refugee from Rotterdam who became one of Weidner’s chief lieutenants and an important leader in the Dutch-Paris escape line from around early 1943

Charroin, Arthur Louis: a French police inspector who passed line members across the border into Switzerland; he was captured and died in Bergen Belsen concentration camp, leaving behind a wife and young child

Dreyfus, Vital: a Paris doctor, Jewish convert to Christianity, and friend of Weidner’s who died in a snowstorm in the Pyrenees mountains while trying to reach England on a mission for Dutch-Paris

Dupont, Nicolas: a Dutch-Paris agent who worked closely with inspector Charroin and was arrested and deported to Neugengamme concentration camp in Germany; he was killed along with 7500 other prisoners in the Bay of Luebeck when the Royal Air Force attacked the German ships on which they were being transported

Eisma, Eise: a chemist who worked for Van Tricht and Visser ‘t Hooft in the dark room of a radiology lab in Geneva processing the microfilm which Weidner smuggled for Allied intelligence

Giran, Olivier: passeur who worked under Laatsman for another escape line before Laatsman joined Weidner’s network; he was captured, tried, and executed by the Germans for smuggling refugees; after the war Weidner included him on his lists of Dutch-Paris members in order help his family receive recognition and compensation from the government

Jacobstahl, Joachim: German Jew and Dutch-Paris member in the Brussels branch who was arrested along with Verloop and Bol and tortured by the Gestapo

Jacquet, Maurice: a Frenchman serving as Dutch Consul in Lyon who worked closely with Weidner to rescue Jews and refugees; he survived being sent to a concentration camp in Germany

Kraay, Suzy: Jewish refugee from Holland who joined Dutch-Paris; she was captured and interrogated by the Gestapo, resulting in the arrests of nearly 100 Dutch-Paris members and the deaths of many

Laatsman, Hermann (“Felix”): introduced to Weidner by Gabrielle, he was head of the Paris branch of Dutch-Paris from September 1943 until March 1944 when he was captured by the Gestapo and sent to Buchenwald concentration camp

Meunier, Marie-Louise: friend of Weidner’s and owner of Au Mimosa shop in Annecy, which became a safe house for fleeing refugees; she died in Ravensbrück concentration camp

Mohr, Julius Joesphus: Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Dutch Airlines office in Paris who worked with Dutch-Paris and died in Buchenwald concentration camp

Nahas, Gabriel: a medical student of Egyptian descent who worked for Dutch-Paris in Toulouse organizing convoys across the Pyrenees mountains into Spain

Nykerk, Benno: a Jewish businessman who became head of the Brussels branch of Dutch-Paris and took over the Paris operation after Laatsman was captured in March 1944; he was also captured and died in Neuengamme concentration camp in Germany

Pillot, Raymonde: Weidner’s personal secretary who was 16 years old at the start of the war; she was personally arrested by Klaus Barbie, tortured by the Gestapo, and sent to Ravensbrück

Rens, Jacques: a Jewish refugee from Belgium and one of Weidner’s chief lieutenants from the summer of 1943 onward

Ruys, John: a Dutch painter living in Paris whose apartment became a safehouse for refugees along the Dutch-Paris line; he died in Dachau

Sevenster, Ate (Arie): Dutch Consul-general who worked closely with Weidner; he was arrested at the end of 1942 and imprisoned for 18 months

Treillet, Pierre Palo: passeur working for Dutch-Paris who led refugees and Allied aviators across the Pyrenees mountains into Spain

Van Niftrik, Jacob: a Dutch reserve officer and resistance fighter who escaped from Holland to Geneva and helped manage Weidner’s assignments for Allied intelligence

Van Tricht, A. G.: military attaché at the Dutch Legation in Berne who was responsible for the military intelligence component of “the Swiss Road”

Verloop, David: an attorney and member of the Dutch-Paris branch in Brussels; he commited suicide while in Nazi custody in order to protect his compatriots, Bol and Jacobstahl

Visser ‘t Hooft, Willem: Secretary General of the World Council of Churches in Geneva, creator of “the Swiss Road” for smuggling documents to the Allies, and a major financier of the Dutch-Paris escape line

Weidner, Annette: Weidner’s sister who made her way from Holland to Paris to join Dutch-Paris, surprising her brother on her arrival; she narrowly avoided capture by the Gestapo, escaping to Switzerland through heavy snow with the help of Veerman

Weidner (Cartier), Elisabeth: Weidner’s first wife who used her position in the French Consulate in Geneva to secure vital papers for refugees so they would not be expelled by the Swiss authorities on arrival

Weidner, Gabrielle: Weidner’s sister and one of only a few Dutch-Paris members he involved as couriers of microfilm for Allied intelligence; she died in Ravensbrück concentration camp

Zurcher, Jean and Anna: close friends and classmates of Weidner who were part of the Seventh-day Adventist community in Collonges-sous-Salève; they were among the first people to become members of the Dutch-Paris escape line