Auke Pattist—Executioner of Drenthe

I cannot decide which is worse, the crimes of Auke Bert Pattist or his remorselessness. Also, the fact that some people saw him as a hero—depresses me.

Auke Bert Pattist was born in 1920. In 1943 he voluntarily entered the Waffen-SS. As an officer, he would be involved in arresting and ill-treating a large number of resistance members, many of whom later died in concentration camps. After the war, he was arrested. In 1946 he escaped from the Koepelgevangenis Arnhem. He was sentenced in absentia, to life imprisonment by the Special Criminal Chamber of the Court in Assen. In November 1978, Pattist was located by Simon Wiesenthal in Oviedo (Spain), where Pattist ran a language school. In April 1979, the Dutch government sent a request for arrest and extradition to Spain, which was initially ignored because Pattist had meanwhile acquired Spanish nationality. In February 1983, Pattist was still arrested and on 9 May 1983, a Spanish court decided that he can be extradited. On 19 May 1983, this court revised its judgment and declared that extradition was inadmissible under Spanish law.

Pattist toasted his extradition failure in 1983

The Pattist case had caused considerable commotion in the Netherlands and had led to questions in the House of Representatives on several occasions. Pattist died on March 21, 2001 in Oviedo.

Born in Bilthoven, the Netherlands, in 1920. He was a convinced National Socialist. His father and mother were members of the NSB. Father was a specialist in vegetable and fruit auctions and industrial cold stores. His mother worked as a training leader for the National Socialist Women’s Organization.

After Auke Pattist had completed his secondary school education, he went straight to the German police academy in Schalkhaar, where everyone who joined the police after May 1941 received a National Socialist education. According to the amateur historian Albert Metselaar from Hoogeveen, “Auke wanted to become an officer, and aspiring officers were mainly trained to act against a resisting population.

After completing his training, he joined the Zwarte Tulpen unit in Amsterdam on October 13, 1942. This police unit was named after the National Socialist and Chief Constable Sybren Tulp, who died in 1942. Pattist’s function was to round up Jews and hand them over to the Germans. In the period from November 1942 to January 1943, his unit rounded up 2,116 Jews in Amsterdam.

In 1943 he joined the Waffen-SS, where, after his service in the Balkans.

In October 1944 he came to Hollandscheveld, together with Dirk Hoogendam and under the leadership of Van Oort, to train Dutchmen, members of the Germanic SS, and Landstorm soldiers. Because people had the impression that there were also many armed ‘Partisans’ in Hollandscheveld and the surrounding area, nocturnal raids and raids were organized from the presbytery of the Reformed Church. At least 175 persons, men, women and children, were mistreated. There was a lot of torture, especially in the school. Some of the prisoners were handed over to the Germans. Eight detainees died.

The man in the officer’s uniform of the Dutch Schalkhaar police, on the right in the photo, is Dirk Hoogendam

Resistance actions were followed by reprisal executions among the local population and suspects were extradited to the SD where confessions were beaten out of them. In correspondence with Metselaar, Pattist always denied his involvement in mock executions and torture: “There was hardly any torture with us, at most a few blows, nothing more. That was not necessary. What one did not say, the other said.”

“In September 1944, in the north of the Netherlands, in Drenthe, after the battle of Arnhem, I had to train a company of recruits. We took 80 prisoners and released 40. The others were handed over to the German political police and some were executed,” said Pattist.

Auke Pattist told the ANP that he had joined the Waffen-SS in 1941 at the age of 19. “I was a convinced National Socialist,” said Pattist. He emphatically denies having been guilty of abuse during the war years and says he fought in the Balkans, in Russia and Czechoslovakia.”

About his time in Hoogeveen, Pattist stated: “Because many resistance fighters were hiding in the area around Hoogeveen who regularly attacked us, we combed the area at the time. But I never participated in the persecution of Jews, we were soldiers and not police officers …”

Of torture endured by enemies, he said: “In a period of resistance fighters, it is common to deal with those who want to kill you if you don’t put up a fight”.

“I cannot and will not deny that a lot of inhumane things took place in Hollandscheveld because of us,” Pattist would declare after the war.“ During the interrogations, the detainees were mistreated by hitting them in the face with the flat of their hands or hitting them with the handle of a grenade. It has also happened that the detainees were forced to confess by blows to the face with a karwat. There were no alternatives, the executioner believed. “In a war there are blows. My assignment was to eliminate as many opponents of our system as possible,” Pattist defended himself in a rare 1979 TV interview.

In Oviedo, Spain, Pattist became the director of a translation agency. The Hoogeveen amateur historian Albert Metselaar tracked him down there in the 1990s and started a correspondence with the man who was high on the list of wanted war criminals. Among other things, the work that Pattist had done for the Zaandam-based Dutch state-run military artillery company, A.I., which later became Eurometaal and popularly known as Hembrug, was discussed. ‘In 1972 or 1973, a holiday acquaintance, then deputy director of Hembrug, asked me if I knew guest workers for his factory,’ Pattist wrote to Metselaar. “I placed an advertisement in a provincial newspaper and the next day about 300 people showed up at my door. After an hour I was visited by a police inspector, who drew up a report because the Spanish state had a monopoly on sending guest workers. I was fined 2000 guilders and then immediately called Hembrug.’

The widow of the holiday acquaintance, C. de Rochemont, confirmed the contract when asked. According to Pattist, the fine was reduced to 200 guilders thanks to the Dutch embassy. A delegation of three employees of the Artillery Institutions and an embassy attaché are said to have visited Pattist at home a few weeks later. ‘Together with a delegate from the Spanish immigration service, we inspected guest workers for three days and ate, drank and chatted together. That fine of 200 guilders was entered by Hembrug as operating costs, “said the convicted war offender. “Unfortunately I don’t remember the names of the gentlemen. For me, it was just a translation job. Two years later they came back for business with an arms factory in Asturias. Hembrug had meanwhile been swallowed up by Eurometaal.’ Four years later he had contact with two former A.I. engineers in Oviedo. “Together with two Germans from Dynamit-Nobel and the former Waffen-SS Colonel Otto Skorzeny, we worked together on a treaty with a Spanish gun factory. And all this under my name and address.”

During an interview for the Dutch current affairs program ‘Brandpunt’ in 1994 he showed no remorse. At one stage he said that he did not hate Jews, but any group of people who have been living in a country and refuse to integrate with the general population, like Jews, Arabs, Gyspies, and Turks, clearly he forgot how the Dutch never integrated into any of their colonies, not did he in Spain.

He died in March 2001, aged 80.

Disturbingly there are still people today who see him as a sort of hero.

I noticed these comments on YouTube about Auke.

“Heel duidelijk over intergratie, herken mij zelf ook in deze man, ik ben ook rechts en heb weinig met de invasieve mensen die ons hier het leven zuur maakt, zo monsterlijk vind ik deze man niet, maar goed,de overwinnaar schrijft de geschiedenis!-Very clear about integration, I also recognize myself in this man, I am also right-wing and have little sympathy with the invasive people who make our lives miserable here, I don’t find this man that monstrous, but well, the victor writes history!”

“Ach, het is allemaal al zo lang geleden. Laat zo’n man toch met rust. En het is uitgezocht door een amateur historicus: hoe serieus moet je dat nemen?-Ah, it’s all been so long. Leave such a man alone. And it was researched by an amateur historian: how seriously should you take that?”

“Hij is een held in mijn ogen.Respect, respect.
Wou dat hij mijn schoonvader was.-He is a hero in my eyes.
Respect, respect. Wish he was my father-in-law.”

Thanks to my nephew Stefano for drawing my attention to this war criminal.


1 in 3

The one thing I always fear when I do these blogs about World War II, and the Holocaust is what I will find out about my family. Thus far, there is no indication that any of them collaborated with the Nazis, but I have a big family, and even now, in 2023, there is still new information surfacing from World War II.

The most extensive and yet, at the same time, most kept hidden archive of the Netherlands is the Central Archive for Special Judicial Safety (CABR).

The most extensive and yet at the same time, the most kept hidden archive of the Netherlands is the Central Archive for Special Judicial Safety (CABR).

This archive covers four linear kilometres and holds 540,000+ files from Dutch people who were wrong during the Second World War. The estimate is that one in three Dutch citizens had a family member who worked for or collaborated with the Nazis.

The perpetrators usually kept silent after the war against their children about what they – exactly – had done. The children and grandchildren often only heard from other sources that their parents or grandparents had collaborated with the Nazis during the occupation. Today, we can shatter ignorance, because we can now consult the National Archive. There are four kilometres of archive material about the many thousands arrested after the war because of their questionable role in the war.

I want to focus on one of the half a million wrong Dutch citizens, mainly because there is a link with Ireland, where I now live.

Pieter Menten
Born in 1899, Pieter Menten was a wealthy Dutch businessman and prominent art collector who bought the secluded Comeragh House in Waterford in 1964.

He was well known among the local community, but he held a secret.

Menten built up much of his business empire trading between his native Netherlands and Poland, he was a significant importer of lumber for example. He lived in Eastern Poland from 1923 until 1939 when the Soviet Union invaded.

Two years later, he returned to Poland after the Nazi counter-occupation, this time as a member of the SS.

Menten was involved in the massacre of Polish professors in Lviv and the robbery of their property. According to witnesses, he helped shoot as many members of the offending family in Galicia as he could find, then turned on other Jews in the area. It is believed Menten personally oversaw the execution of as many as 200 Jews.

While travelling on his personal train with his prized art collection, Menten was recognized by Dutch Resistance fighters and arrested. They brought him to trial. His chief defence lawyer was Rad Kortenhorst, President of the Dutch House of Representatives. The controversial trial concluded in 1949, with the prosecution unable to prove most allegations and sentenced to an eight-month term for having worked in uniform as a Nazi interpreter. In 1951, the Dutch government refused a Polish request for his extradition.

Menten would go on to become a successful art collector and businessman. His 20-room mansion contained valuable artwork (Nicolaes Maes, Francisco Goya, Jan Sluyters, etc.), and he held vast areas of real estate.

Menten’s background was kept hidden while he lived much of his time in Ireland. It all became public in 1976 when they arrested him for his crimes in Holland. He claimed a case of mistaken identity but was convicted and sentenced to 15 years in jail.

A 2011 article about the Comeragh House property in the Irish Times claims that the estate was damaged by arson attacks during his imprisonment, which some believe were orchestrated by Mossad, the Israeli security service. The property was known to have been raided by hopeful art thieves. They had gambled on the truth to the rumours that the art collection was still somewhere in the house.

In 1976, they reopened the Menten case. During the trial, his mansion was set ablaze after a survivor of Dachau Concentration Camp threw a petrol bomb onto its thatched roof. The building suffered extensive damage, including part of the art collection.[3] In 1980 Menten was sentenced to 10 years in prison and was fined 100,000 guilders for war crimes, including being an accessory to the murder of 20 Jewish villagers in 1941 Poland.

Upon his release in 1985, he believed he would settle in his County Waterford mansion in Ireland, only to find out Garret FitzGerald, Taoiseach (prime minister) at the time, had barred him from the country. The exclusion order was later signed by Justice Minister Michael Noonan, from Limerick. Menten died at a seniors‘ home in Loosdrecht, Netherlands. He was 88 years old.

Finding Comeragh House isn’t easy. The house, as claimed, is indeed “hidden from all eyes and cannot be seen from any of the surrounding roads.” The approach is along a private 1km-long tarmac drive flanked by mature rhododendrons and laurels, which passes a lake with an island. It continues via a tree-lined avenue facing sloping parkland with cedars, oak and horse chestnut trees before reaching the gravelled front entrance to the main house. This secluded location presumably appealed to the previous owner, Pieter Menten, who bought the estate in 1964.



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The Evil of Colonne Henneicke

The picture above is of Wim Henneicke, a bounty hunter and collaborator. His wasn’t driven by hate or by a warped sense of nationalism, but by greed. Wim Henneicke was part of the group called “Colonne Henneicke.” The Colonne Henneicke, officially the Hausraterfassungsstelle, was a group of Dutch collaborators who were active as bounty hunters in the period between March and October 1943. The group consisted of more than fifty Dutch people who were paid to hunt Jewish people in hiding and was led by Wim Henneicke. In the six months that the organization existed, it was responsible for the deportation of eight to nine thousand people.

They were paid 7,50 Dutch guilders (the 2023 equivalent would be $62 or €58) for each Jew that was caught, regardless if it was a man, woman or child.

One of their victims was Charles Salomon Viskoop, born on 17 February 1943. In December 1943, two members of the Kolonne Henneicke found Charles Salomon at his hiding place. He was ten months old at the time. He was murdered on 28 January 1944, in Auschwitz just over a month before his first birthday.

However, Henneicke did not live to see the end of the war. On December 8, 1944, he left his home in Amsterdam in the morning and was shot dead by an unknown member of the Amsterdam resistance.

I want to focus on 2 more members of the Colonne Henneicke.

Dries Riphagen

Bernardus Andries Riphagen, known as “the Dutch Al Capone,” was even more unscrupulous than his American gangster counterpart. The man was a criminal through and through. Riphagen’s fingers were in a lot of pies in the Dutch criminal underworld, from prostitution to extortion to murder. He spent two years in the United States, first working for Standard Oil and then getting in touch with local criminal groups.

During the war, Riphagen continued with trading and expanded his business by working with the Germans as an intermediary agent of the intelligence agency of the SS, the Sicherheitsdienst (or SD), in The Hague. As more anti-Jewish policies were introduced, the collaboration between Riphagen and the Germans became more and more lucrative. When Jewish people were arrested, their property, stocks, jewellery and cash were taken before the arrestees and the remaining household items were handed over to the Germans.

Riphagen ran clandestine roulette houses, offered “ladies of pleasure” to accommodate high German officials and traded in currency, gold and diamonds on the black market with his old friends from the Rembrandt Square such as Joop Out, ‘Manke’ (Criple) Toon Kuijper, Harry Rond and Gerrit Verbeek. Having climbed the ladder from an undercover agent to a bona fide employee, Riphagen decided to join the Devisenschutzkommando (DSK), part of the Central Office for Jewish Emigration. The most important function of the DSK was to counteract the increasing instances of black market trading in shares. Another function was to gather the Jewish possessions that had escaped the German currency regulations. Members of the DSK received 5 to 10% of the possessions gathered in return for their work. In reality, however, most of the goods discovered ended up in the hands of individual members. From 1943 onwards Riphagen was part of the ‘Column Henneicke’

It is believed that Riphagen personally executed of Wim Baggers and John Even, two resistant fighters. Baggers and Even were arrested in September 1944 and handcuffed to each other on the Amsteldijk with a shot to the neck they were executed.
The commemoration took place three weeks after the liberation.

He managed the flee the Netherlands after the war.

Always as slippery as an eel, in February 1946 Riphagen escaped, leaving his wife and son behind without a second thought. Rumour has it that his underworld friends smuggled him across the border in a hearse. Another theory is that two Dutch secret service men, Frits and Piet Kerkhoven, organized his escape to Belgium with a hearse. From Belgium, he spent three months travelling to Spain by bicycle.

When Riphagen reached Spain in May 1946, the authorities in Huesca stopped him due to a lack of necessary identification. He was imprisoned, but again luck never left him. He was released on bail with the help of a Jesuit priest. Shortly after that, Frits Kerkhoven gave him clothes and shoes, which were hidden in the necessary papers as well as diamonds that Riphagen had previously left with Kerkhoven.

When justice finally discovered his location in Madrid, Riphagen flew to Argentina with a friend on March 21, 1948. The Dutch ambassador to Buenos Aires at the time, Floris Carcilius Anne Baron van Pallandt, filed an extradition request. However, it was denied by the Argentina Judicial Authorities due to a lack of evidence–again, the crime against humanity got away scot-free.

Riphagen was never extradited to the Netherlands. Always gregariously silver-tongued, he maintained friends in high places. One was a member of the Argentine Supreme Court, Rodolfo Valenzuela, who also served as secretary to President Juan Perón.

Thanks to Valenzuela, Riphagen soon befriended the presidential couple. He kept in close contact with Perón until his death. Belgrano, a district of Buenos Aires, soon became his home where he ran a photo-press business. Also, he supported the Perón secret service whenever he could.

When Perón was removed from power, Riphagen returned to Europe where he spent his time travelling, especially in Spain, Switzerland, and Germany. He kept the company of wealthy women who could support his expensive tastes and continued to talk his way through life. His last known address was in Madrid.

Finally, in 1973 Dries Riphagen, probably the worst Dutch war criminal, died of cancer in Montreux, Switzerland.

Netflix released a movie about Riphagen a few years ago

Sera de Croon

De Croon was known to be particularly fanatical and sadistic, he mistreated Jews and even personally brought Jewish babies to the Germans. At parties he liked to show a captured pre-war holiday film of a Jewish family that he himself had reported. After the Colonne Henneicke was disbanded because the work was done, De Croon moved to the east of the country. He was especially good at infiltrating various resistance groups and was behind the arrest of several resistance members. In Nijverdal, for example, the resistance member Herman Kampman was arrested and later shot.De Croon abused many of his victims.

After the liberation, De Croon couldn’t be found at first. He was finally arrested in 1948 and sentenced to death in 1949. However, this sentence was not carried out after Queen Juliana pardoned him. First his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, later this sentence was commuted to 21 years, of which he only had to serve two thirds. As a result, he was released again in the early 1960s. De Croon was traced to Alicante in Spain in 1983, where he died in 1990 from lung cancer.

It was Sera de Croon who delivered 10 month old Charles Salomon Viskoop to the Nazis.


The 1943 German law that denies justice to be done.


In 1943 a law was passed in Germany which gave all foreign Waffen SS members the German nationality by default.

This law still prevents extradition of WWII War criminals to be extradited to their native countries, because these men have the German nationality , and Germany does not extradite it’s own citizens.

These are just 2 examples of Dutch war criminals who received no or very little punishment for the crimes they committed during WWII.

Herbertus Bikker AKA The Butcher of Ommen


Herbertus Bikker was a Dutch war criminal. He was a member of the Waffen-SS. He served as a guard at the concentration  Erika near Ommen, in the Netherlands. His brutal treatment of the prisoners earned him his nickname ‘the Butcher of Ommen’

Bikker is the alleged murderer of Dutch resistance fighter Jan Houtman [nl] who was killed, twenty-seven years old, on 17 November 1944.

Following the end of World War II, he was sentenced to death by a Dutch court.  he managed to escape from prison in Breda on 26 December 1952 and fled to Germany, crossing the border at Ubbergen near Cleves. He settledd down in the city of Hagen, where he livedundetected until 1995. Following the law from 1943, foreign members of the Waffen-SS automatically received German nationality. Germany does not extradite its own nationals.

Although he was not extradited he was taken to court in Germany, . Bikker’s managed  to evade any jail time  to claim diminished responsibility due to illness.Following a breakdown and fainting in court,  neurologists advised against Bikker standing trial tHE Court was adjourned on 2 February 2004.

Bikker lived in Hagen as a pensioner until his death on 1 November 2008  which was only announced in 2009.

Siert Bruns AKA the Beast of Appingedam.


Siert Bruins was a a member of the Dutch Nazi party NSB. During the war he and his brother both joined the Waffen SS and fought at the eastern front.

Siert got wounded  at the front and  returned to the Netherlands where he  became a member of the SD. He was active around Delfzijl hunting members of the resistance.

He was sentenced to death in absentia by a Dutch court in 1949 for the murder of Dutch farmer and resistance member Aldert Klaas Dijkema. The German government refused to extradite him to the Netherlands. The death sentence was later revised to a life sentence.

In 1978, Bruins was tracked  down by Simon Wiesenthal in the German town Altenbreckerfeld. He was arrested and put on trial in Germany, in 1980, where he was found guilty for the murder of two Jewish brothers, Meijer en Lazarus Sleutelberg.He spent 5 years in jail for those murders.

In 2003, the Dutch minister Donner tried to convince the German authorities to send Bruins to the Netherlands, but without success

He went on trial again, in the western city of Hagen in September 2013 for the murder of Aldert Klaas Dijkema, in September 1944 in Appingedam near the German-Dutch border.However, the case was dropped when judges said there was insufficient evidence to proceed, partly because there were no witnesses left alive.

Bruins died on September 28,2015 aged 94.


These were only 2 examples but there are still dozens of so called German citizens who are walking around as free men.


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Dutch Wikipedia

Trial International