Cycling in WWII-The story of 2 cyclists, one hero, one traitor.

German troops invaded the Netherland in May 1940. The Nazi regime stayed in power in the the Netherlands until May 1945. Although the southern provinces had already been liberated in the autumn of 1944.

Despite the occupation, for many life went ahead as usual, at least to an extend. Sporting events were still allowed by the Nazi occupiers. I have often wondered why that was, but of course sports were ideal for propaganda purposes. It created an illusion to show the citizens that the Nazis weren’t all that bad. Also sports functioned as a distraction.

Cycling has always been popular in the Netherlands. Many Dutch still use the bicycle as their preferred means of transport. But also in a sporting sense it has always been popular and there have been many successful Dutch cyclists throughout the decades.

It is no wonder therefor that the Dutch continued to organizes cycling events like the Cauberg Criterium, which was an annual race in the most south Eastern part of the Netherlands , the province of Limburg, in the town of Valkenburg.

Two cyclists who would have competed in these races were Jan van Hout and Cor Wals.

Jan van Hout was a professional cyclist between 1933 and 1940. He was born in Valkenburg on October 17,1908.

He made quite a good living as a cyclist. With the money he earned as a cyclist he was able to but a pub in Eindhoven. When the Nazis occupied the Netherlands he closed his pub, he did not want to serve any drinks to the Nazis. He was a fervent anti Nazi. After he closed the pub Jan and his wife Anneke decided to join the Dutch resistance. They were involved in providing aid to refugees and people in hiding.

A few months before liberation Jan was arrested during a raid. He was sent to Neuengamme concentration camp where he died on February 22nd 1945.

Cor Wals was a Dutch cyclist, born February 26, 1911 in The Hague.

As early as 1931 Cor got contracts for the six-day races in Chicago and New York and made a name for himself as a six-day driver in the following years. Because of his unparalleled sense of balance, which stopped him from falling of the bike , he was nicknamed “Slingerplant” (Dutch: creeper). He took part in 39 races, of which he won seven, five of them with Jan Pijnenburg . In addition, he was three times Dutch master of the stayers(aka The pacemaker race, an endurance discipline of track cycling)

He was a fan favourite. However on July 21, 1941 during one of those stayers races, he took off his jacket and to the shock of the spectators ,they saw he was wearing a shirt with the SS symbol. He also gave the Hitler salute.

After winning the championship, he was whistled and booed during his lap of honor and cushions were thrown at him. He decided after that not to race again and to focus on a military career with the SS.

Initially he fought at the eastern front but he ended up working as a guard in several concentration camps. There was a rumour that he worked in Neuengamme when Jan van Hout was there, but this has never been verified.

After the war he was sentenced to 15 years in prison, but he was released in 1952.

He opened up a clothes shop in Eindhoven . One day Anneke van Hout-Louwers walked into the shop to buy some clothes for her son, Cor chatted with Anneke and cupid struck. The couple got married. Anneke van Hout-Louwers was the widow of Jan van Hout, there was a public outrage about the newly married couple. People were disgusted that Anneke married a traitor. The couple moved to Belgium soon after, they returned to the Netherlands in 1981.

sources

https://www.nu.nl/sport/2415527/sser-won-nk.html

https://amp.de.googl-info.com/5381126/1/jan-van-hout.html

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

$2.00

Johannes Heesters-Hitler’s & Goebbel’s buddy

1200px-Johannes_Heesters_-_1964

Johannes Heesters  a very controversial Dutch Tenor and actor, and although I try no to judge people I think it is save to call this man a traitor whose only passions were fame and wealth.

Remembered for his roles in such mid 20th-century German-language films as Viktor und Viktoria and Die Jungfrau auf dem Dach, this Dutch-born actor also performed in numerous stage productions and released two vocal music albums.

027

Heesters was born in Amersfoort, Netherlands, the youngest of four sons. His father Jacobus Heesters (1865–1946) was a salesman and his mother Geertruida Jacoba van den Heuvel (1866–1951), a homemaker.

Johan_-Johannes-_Heesters_Birth_Record

Heesters was fluent in German from a very early age having lived for several years in the household of a German great uncle from Bavaria. Heesters decided to become an actor and a singer at the age of sixteen and began vocal training. Heesters specialized in Viennese operetta very early in his career, and made his Viennese stage debut in 1934 in Carl Millöcker’s Der Bettelstudent (The Beggar Student).

2012708,SgF2o+UeJ4XDbYCEKfXQGb4qJirYKnYHlgJ4oyfIww6Z+Me8QeOr6M236TvvQmpHopPJAwEl5OzKtDSbAQBaTg==

Aged 31, Heesters permanently moved to Germany with his wife and daughters in 1935. His signature role was Count Danilo Danilovitch in Franz Lehár’s Die Lustige Witwe (The Merry Widow). His version of Count Danilo’s entrance song, “Da geh’ ich ins Maxim“, was well known. During his time in Germany, he performed for Adolf Hitler and visited the Dachau concentration camp, which made him a controversial figure for many Dutch. Joseph Goebbels placed Heesters on the Gottbegnadeten (God gifted) list as an artist considered crucial to Nazi culture.

Heesters, a charmer like Maurice Chevalier, was the most honored non-German entertainer in Nazi Germany. With such prominent endorsement, he went on to a career in film, stage and television after the war, and went on to win many awards. But only in German-speaking countries did people excuse his opportunistic wartime behavior. In the 1960s he tried to do a show in the Netherlands, as the anti-Nazi Captain Georg van Trapp in “The Sound of Music” and was hooted off the stage.

maxresdefault

Heesters funded the German war machine by donating money to the weapons industry.This helped to make Heesters a very controversial figure in the late 1970s. Heesters always denied these accusations despite reliable evidence.

Heesters befriended several high-ranking Nazi-officials and SS-officers.Hitler is known to have been an avid admirer of his acting skills.

At the same time, he was idolized by the Swingboy subculture, who admired his pale face and combed long black hair and tried to copy his attire. His style contrasted that promoted by the Hitlerjugend.

Heesters met Hitler several times.especially in the role of Count Danilo. Throughout the war Heesters continued to perform for German soldiers in camps and barracks. According to German author Volker Kühn, Heesters did perform for the SS at the Dachau concentration camp.

Johannes Heesters besucht KZ Dachau

 

Kühn cites as evidence the testimony of a Dachau inmate, Viktor Matejka, who worked for the SS and told Kühn he pulled the curtain when Heesters performed in 1941.According to German writer Jürgen Trimborn  however, the interview with Matejka may not be reliable as it occurred some fifty years after the performance was said to have taken place.

In December 2009, Heesters lost his libel suit against Kühn. While acknowledging having visited the camp, he denied having performed as entertainment for the SS troops.

heesters_dachau

In its ruling, the German court did not find that Kühn’s allegations were not true, but rather that too much time had passed for an accurate determination of fact to be made.

Heesters, who died in 2011 at the age of 108, said he was “gullible, credulous and naive”, and had no idea what was going on inside German concentration camps. Then again, he also said Hitler was “a good guy”

Heesters-105-Bambi

He worked until he was 105  and lived to be 108 years old , at the time of his death, was worth an estimated 65,000,000 dollars, sometimes associating with evil does pay.