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The Underground and Civilian Heroes.

 

The curfews imposed brought misery and made life intolerable for all who tried to subdue their hatred for the occupying power. Many had decided to resist this invader and would ultimately pay the price of this with their lives. The S.S. and Gestapo would soon root out the resistors using horrific means of sadistic torture and murder to vanquish any in opposition to their evil regime. Any person traveling by train, on buses, or cars were searched, civilian identity papers examined and any if minor flaw or suspicion was aroused they would be dragged away to prison or Gestapo Headquarters, his or her fate literally unknown.


St Gilles prison –brussels

Hundreds were literally “taken” from the street and interrogated for hours on end, the more suspicious ones were brutally tortured to find out who and what they knew of anyone helping the “enemy” to escape, some could not stand the horrific pain inflicted and succumbed revealing all they knew…others kept their secret enduring the most agonizing pain inflicted until they took their last breath and died…keeping the secret safe, protecting those they were loyal to…Brave and Courageous to the very end…!!!

 

The Escape Networks are Born…!!!

From the small country of Belgium came two of the Greatest Escape Networks in the History of the Second World War...!!!

The “Pat Line” was organized and run by a Brave and Courageous Belgian, Capitaine Albert-Marie Edmond Guerisse… known in the underground as “Pat O’Leary”. He, with his most loyal and courageous of followers saved over 600 aircrew and soldiers before being betrayed to the Gestapo in 1943. The Pat Line’s Heroic success will always be remembered by all those they saved from certain imprisonment and death in Hitler’s infamous Stalag Luft camps and concentration camps, which were scattered across Germany and Poland. Many would never return as they were executed on Hitler’s orders. But to those who were saved and left to continue their lives and live in the freedom they had…would never forget the Sacrifices given by those of the undeniably Brave and Courageous members of…”Pat Line”…That saved them…!!!

The “Comete Line”

This famous escape network was dreamed up, conceived, and organized by Andree de Jonge, a twenty four year old woman of great character, courage, and determination. Her father Frederic de Jonge (picture of Frederic de jong) was a Brussels schoolmaster who many years before had given the nickname of “Little (Petit) Cyclone” to his very young daughter, as she was full of high spirits and very lively. This would become one of her code names in the underground network the other was “Dedee”...the name I will use in this story.

The Comet Line itself had its own agents throughout Belgium searching for Allied airmen, once found they would be hurried to a safe house where the families there would be under constant threat from Gestapo raids, hence the reason to continue to move the “parcels” around to different locations. The young Dedee would be informed and arrive to take them under her care with her valiant helpers. Once settled in their comparative safe house they would be cared and tended for. Later when the opportunity came the “parcels” were moved once again to another safe house. This gave the “parcels” a greater sense of security and their continued hope was that they would soon be on their way…Home.

 

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