The Death of a Partisan

On 20 March 1945, Willlem Frederik Jonkman died in the Little Camp of Buchenwald. The 51-year-old was a teacher from the Dutch town of Meppel and the father of two adult children. According to the report by the SS physician, he fell over dead from weakness.

In the Dutch resistance group “Ordedienst” (OD), which he had joined in 1943, Jonkman’s cover name was “Van Douwen”. The OD forged passports, distributed leaflets and helped persons subject to persecution. Jonkman’s flat was a hiding and meeting place for these activities. In the summer of 1943, he was appointed commander of the local resistance group in Meppel, the “Meppelaars”.

On 17 February 1944, the German occupiers arrested Jonkman, and in the weeks that followed many further members of the group. He was committed first to the Herzogenbusch concentration camp, then to Sachsenhausen. Of the twenty “Meppelaars” who had been deported to Buchenwald by various routes, only five survived the camp and the death marches.

(Harry Stein)


Reference: Het drama van Buchenwald, Meppel n.d.