Foreword 3
The price of freedom 4
Victory unsung 7
Thrice resurgent 8
The thousand and one flights 11
The roll of honor 12
The better part of truth 14
Tribute to impudence 17
Tragedy in the East 18
Follow me: I am attacking 21
"Hope is not essential to our efforts..." 22
Je maintiendrai 24


Charity begin at home. But just as faith and hope know no frontiers, so true charity embraces all the world. Never has this old truth been more widely realized than at the present time, as has been amply proved by the unstinting generosity with which the United Nations--each within the measure of its ability--have contributed to the alleviation of suffering and distress, regardless of the nationality or the habitation of the stricken.

If it is still true, therefore, that charity begins at hone, the United Nations have proved that it only ends at the four corners of that world which they have pledged themselves to restore to mankind as its common home.

That is why we have no hesitation in drawing attention to the Dutch as one small part of that heavily afflicted family of nations whose sufferings cry out for help. Yet it is not only, or even principally because of their distress that the Dutch are worthy of support. For their appeal is not the appeal of the weak. It is rather the proud claim of a people which, but the gallantry of its own exertions and by its contribution to the common victory, has earned the right to help.

It is in this spirit that the following pages have been written, the spirit which no one has expressed more forcefully than Princess Juliana when, on her arrival in Canada, she said:

"Keep your pity for the weak, for our terrible fate has made us stronger than ever before."



Few were prouder of their cities than the Dutch. For theirs were not cities built of brick and mortar only. Blood and tears have gone into their making. Within their walls, the common man of centuries ago, the merchant and the artisan of mediæval times, first dared to challenge the pretensions of his feudal lords. Here the seed of liberty sprung its first roots and flourished mightily. Here too, in later times, the arrogance of tyrants was bloodily repulsed that freedom might not perish from the earth. Here, in our time, the nation achieved its greatest triumphs in the works of peace and progress.

Small wonder that the Dutch valued their cities as another proud race of freemen valued the cities of Greece.

Small wonder, too, that they sacrificed these cities without a moment's hesitation.

For what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and suffer the loss of his soul? Who makes the better bargain, those who sell their souls to save the heritage of the past, or those who allow the treasures of the past and the achievements of the present alike, to be obliterated forever that their children may inherit the future?

Whatever history's answer, one thing is clear even ow. If the Dutch lost their liberty, it is not because they were unworthy of it. THe ruins of their proudest cities stand as a sombre testimonial to the value they put on freedom. Nor has the full price yet been paid. Far form it. For the countless lives lost, the property destroyed, the historical monuments forever obliterated, these have been but the first installments of the bitter toll exacted form all those who love freedom better than life itself.


Middleburg, before and after the German bombing.

Rotterdam after the German bombing


Repairing a dyke. Plowing the fields.
Here Holland built its livingspace and here Hitler's men were stopped



God created the world, but the Dutch, it has been said, made Holland.

With the labor of their own hands, they nave fashioned the soil on which their homes are built. Even when in the age of conquest vast domains were opened to the world by the intrepid spirit of the Dutch navigators, the old art was not forgotten and Holland's landbuilders patiently continued at their task of adding to their fields by the peaceful labor of the spade.

Never did these landbuilders achieve a greater triumph than in the years immediately preceding the new age of conquest ushered in by the barbarians of the East. For while the barbarians prepared to obtain new "living space" with the fire and the sword, the Dutch--who like all other civilized peoples had long since left all ideas of forceful conquest behind them--gained a new province by the building of the famous Zuider Zee Dyke.

Nothing could be more fitting, therefore, and nothing more symbolical of the triumph of constructive toil over brutal force than the fact that it was on this very Zuider Zee Dyke that the nation of builders scored their only decisive military victory over the nation of warriors.

There, under the vast sky of a Dutch seascape, on the green dam which stretches across more than twenty miles of blue water with the gulls above crying their raucous exultation, the enemy was held and did not advance again. There the men who created their country with the labor of their hands and the daring genius of their vision, held their own and the men who find their greatness and their pride in grabbing other people's lands were checked.

What matter if history has moved too quickly to receive the imprint of such fleeting triumphs? For never yet has blood been less precious nor life less dear for having been sacrificed unnoticed or in vain.



March 1653. In the waters off the Italian coast, a Dutch fleet gives battle to the ships of England. It is the age of Tromp and De Ruyter whose frigates rule the oceans, chasing even the mighty British from their blue domain. But in this year of our Lord 1653, it is not the name of Tromp or De Ruyter that strikes terror in the hearts of Cromwell's men. It is the name of Jan van Galen.

From the high poop of the good ship Jaarsveldt, the 49-year-old admiral gives his blunt orders. As so often before in his wild fighting life, fortune is on his side. And then he falls, his left leg shot away by a cannonball. But the admiral, mortally wounded though he be, is of stout heart. For these are the words he speaks: "'Tis but a slight mishap to die for the fatherland in the midst of victory."


May 1940, sleek destroyer races along the Dutch coast, its assignment to steam up the narrow mine-infested river to Rotterdam and shell the Germans out of the city's aerodrome.

Twenty miles north of the river's mouth, German transport planes are sighted landing on the wide sandy beach. For a brief moment the guns speak. There is uproar on the beach, but when the enemy begins to count his dead, the destroyer is already on its way again, full steam ahead for victory or death.

A few hours later, the issue is decided. But during those hours the ship's cannons thunder as they have never thundered before. During those hours the appointed task if faithfully carried out regardless of the unending stream of Stukas that again and again roar down on the stationary target as it lies in the harbor of Rotterdam. Thirty-one times they come. And then at last the hour has struck and death comes again to the proud name of Jan van Galen.


January 1942. From a shipyard somewhere in England, a newly completed warship slides down the slipways. From its stern files the red, white and b;lue of the Netherlands. But that is not the only reason why this launching strikes a thrill in the hearts of Hollanders all over the world. For this is no ordinary warship built out of a treasury grant. This is a ship built by public subscription, out of the pennies and dimes willingly given by patriots of every race, creed and class wherever the Dutch flag may fly.

Its name? Jan van Galen.

Jan van Galen, twice defeated, thrice resurgent!


The three Jan van Galens
The 3 Jan van Galens


Escape by air and sea



When the history of Holland's heroes comes to be written, there will be one chapter which at first may seem singularly out of place in a book devoted to tales of bravery. It will be entitled "The Thousand and One Flights" and it will tell the stories of the men and women who earned their place in the annals of the nation by escape.

It is they and their innumerable fellow-escapists from other occupied territories who have given a new and gallant meaning to a word which usually has been associated with cowardice. For theirs has not been a flight from danger. Theirs has been the brave defiance of the enslaved who have risked their all to regain the dignity of freedom. And it is of one of these that this story tells.

His name is legion. His deeds are history. For many months he endured the bitterness of powerless defeat. And a greater bitterness it was for him than for most of his luckless fellow countrymen. For his was a skill and a profession that could only be put to use in the service of the hated enemy. He was a test pilot. To put bread in the mouths of his family, he worked for the enemy. They grew to like him, this cool, efficient Dutchman. He was good at his job and he was surprisingly pleasant: very different from that vast majority of surly Dutchmen whose eyes would never smile and whose mouths were forever set in grim resentment. Yes, there was no doubt, he was a pleasant chap and one could trust him. And then one day a curious thing happened.

He took up a repaired machine as he had so often done before. Higher and higher he circled until at last he disappeared into the clouds. Ten more minutes and he'd come screaming down, testing the patched-up plane in a power dive. That's how it had always been done. Only this time it was not.

For this time the pleasant Dutchman's plans were ripe and while the trusting fools down below waited patiently for the first far-away hum of their homing pigeon, their pigeon--turned into an eagle--set the course for freedom.

He know he did not have a chance. He knew the Messerschmitts would be after him the moment his failure to return on time had set the alarm bells ringing. He knew he had not half their speed. He knew he was unarmed. He knew his plane bore German markings and that the Spitfires would be on his tail the moment he approached the shores of England.

He knew it all. And het he stuck to his course, risked all, won all--and is now serving his Queen and country.


The Roll of Honor



Half way between the busy cities of Amsterdam and Rotterdam lies the quiet town of Leyden. It is a town of memories haunted by the ghosts of those doughty fighters who once, for four dreadful famished months, held its battlements against the onslaught of the Spanish soldiery. But it is also a town of dreams, not the dreams of the idle but the proud visions of thinkers who in their restless minds fashion the stuff of which progress is made. Memories and dreams, fighters and thinkers, battlements and laboratories, these are in reality but two closely intertwined strands in the thread of Leyden's history.

For if Leyden has become a stronghold of the free human spirit, it is not by the munificence of some great lord but by the exertion of those who more than three centuries ago staked their existence for the right to think and, once the battle won, asked no more material reward for their triumphant city, nor greater glory, than the foundation of a seat of learning.

Today Leyden hash proved that it is not unworthy of its proud heritage. Faced with a tyrant ten times more powerful and with a spiritual menace ten times more dreadful than ever before, the men of Leyden remain unflinching in the defense of those human principles to which they hold themselves irrevocably committed. Already the bravest among them have become legendary figures throughout the length and breadth of the whispering land. And none more so than the scholarly professor of law who, rather than remain silent at the German-enforced dismissal of a famous Jewish colleague, sacrificed his freedom that the stern voice of Leyden, the voice of truth and justice, might be heard once more.

What matter if the voice is stifled, the speaker thrown in jail, the university closed? For in Leyden there are always other men who carry on. Men like the preacher who did not fear to speak a passionate prayer "for a divine deliverance of our University by a God who will have none of tyranny" and who cried out against "the arrogant pride of tyrants" and begged the Lord "to grant the alien rulers whom in Thy dark ordinance Thou still allowest to rule over us, to bow down before Thy commandments."

It is by the virtue of such men as these that the Leyden of the future will have still richer memories and still produce dreams. It is by the virtue of such men as these that it will forever remain true to itself as a bastion of the spirit where discretion has never been the better part of valor nor silence the better part of truth.


Leyden University
Leyden University




Impudence in children is a sad thing and much to be deplored though some will say it is a healthy sign. But impudence in adults all men of sense and manners will condemn alike as folly indisputable.

Too true, too true. But war turns every value upside down and thus what once was thought a badge of shame has now become a badge of honor. Praise, therefore, to be impudence, for impudence however crude is but the spirit of the free that seeks new ways to challenge tyranny.

In Holland impudence has not been lacking. Not all men can be heroes that fight and die with flaming swords. Some must perforce use lighter weapons, and challenge not to kill but to annoy, to harass and confuse, and above all, to feel again for but one fleeting moment the sweet, rich sense of being free.

Thus the young Dutchman who voiced a striking protest against the looting of his country by publicly exhibiting, as symptom of the country's plight, the state of nakedness to which he feared he soon would be reduced. Crude, pointless and offensive? Perhaps, but something more as well. For jests like these, however, feeble, are not without their barbs and therefore dearly bought, as well the jester knows who before long was made to pay for his bold impudence in some dark alien prison.

Nor did he languish there alone, for countless are his countrymen who draw upon themselves the tyrant's wrath by spitting on his feet of clay, by impudence of every kind, my making light of all that he holds sacred and laughing at his proudest pose.

Let no one say, therefore, that such as these do not deserve their modest place in history as men of pride and spirit. Their impudence, their bitter jests and biting rimes, their wit, oft crude and often razor-sharp, are more than pinpricks in the enemy's thick hide, more than the ridicule that kills. They are the scornful laughter and the sublime arrogance of those who care not what befalls as long as they remain themselves.



Three hundred years ago they came. Traders they were, not conquerors. But in those days when a few fearless spirits from Western Europe opened up the world, trade was ever followed by the flag and thus some of them stayed on to rule. Many were the mistakes they made and many the injustices they committed. For these stout Dutchmen were no better than their times, flushed with the glory of their great exploits, blinded by the magic richness of the new world they found. Yet, stern as their early rule might be, there was no bloodlust in these ancient settlers of the East, nor tyranny or intolerance. For even then the spirit of this people was bent on arts of peace and had triumphantly repulsed the vicious principles of statecraft which in our day have once again been revived by the protagonists of the new order.

Much has happened since those first Hollanders planted the flag in the islands of the Indies. Gradually, with the passing of the centuries, the men who came for the rewards of trader had their imaginations fired by the vision of a far greater prize. To join hands and talents with the people over whom they ruled and with them to build a new society, to bring light where had been darkness and health where disease was rampant, to fuse the science of the West with the native wisdom of the East and thus create a human commonwealth where men of all races would meet and work on equal terms to share the fruits of common labor; here indeed was a task worthy of the proudest.

Bravely the great task was undertaken. In the moment of time that is a hundred years vast things were achieved, spiritual and material. A new world was coming into being and a new experiment in human endeavour, carried irresistably forward on the stream of history, was rapidly approaching its ultimate development when the first bomb that fell on faraway Pearl Harbor the labors of a century were suddenly cut short.

Now there is silence in the East and darkness shrouds the myriad islands and none can tell what fortunes will befall the unfinished house.

But yet the vision lives.


The Parliament of the Indies, birthplace of a new commonwealth
Parliament of the Indies

War damage
Co-prosperity comes to Java


Pacific war scenes



"Follow me; I am attacking." Thus the proud signal ran as a Dutch cruiser led the allied squadron into the Battle of the Java Sea. That night a thousand lives were lost and nought was gained but honor. Perhaps it was too dearly bought and prudence might have steered a safer course.

Indeed it might. But daring and not prudence is the creed of desperate men and desperate men they were, these fighters of the Indies. Had they not seen the homeland fall, a prey to fire and pillage? Had they not seen black doom approach their own fair isles and struggled day and night to meet the onslaught well prepared while, inexorably, time, precious time, was running out? They knew their fate. They knew that prudence was of no avail. And thus they dared exceedingly.

They dared when on the morrow of that fateful seventh of December, while a stunned world still gasped for breathy, they would not wait to be attacked in turn but boldy, as good comrades, flung their challenge in the face of Nippon. They dared when precious planes and ships and men went forth from their own threatened islands to fight the common foe a thousand miles away. They dared for more than their own lands. They dared for victory. And lost.

"Follow me: I am attacking," thus the proud signal ran. Thus it still runs. For even now, many hard months after that other famous signal flashed its last tragic message out of Java: "We are now closing down. Long live the Queen," there are still jungle outposts where Hollanders and Indonesians still carry on, determined that it is better to have dared and lost than never to have dared at all.



Killing is not a Dutchman's trade. Let others boast their Attilas and Genghis Khans. Holland gave the world a different kind of fighter. Gentle, sly Erasmus, warrior against darkness, superstition and mediæval folly. William the Silent, relentless foe of bigotry. Grotius, enemy of lawlessness. Leeuwenhoek, hunter of the deadly microbe. Boerhaave, fighter of disease. Scholars and scientists, statesmen and explorers, churchmen and artisans, some world-renowned, some long forgotten; but fighters all.

Today the world of light they helped to conquer lies in ruins. The Attilas are on the move and killers would fain undo what fighters have achieved. Only one thing will stop the spread of darkness. And thus the dread command has issued forth to all men of good wll: Thou too, shalt kill.

The Dutch have not been slow to grasp the fearful message. Ask the men of Hitler. Ask the soldiers of the Rising Sun. Yes, and if you think it worth it, ask the poor wretches of that forgotten man of Europe, the jackal Mussolini. Deathly silence will be the common answer of these thousands who found their graves in the green fields of Holland, the jungles of the East and the waters of the seven seas.

Yet, it will be whispered, they have much achieved these enemy dead, for, be it at a heavy cost, the Dutch are beaten, their armies vanquished, their lands, save for a tiny fraction, conquered, the people chained. Yes, the Dutch are beaten, That surely, all the world must know.

Perhaps it does. But in this world there is one tribe of men that does not know it. Scattered to the four corners of the earth, weak in numbers but strong in faith these men, Hollanders and Indonesians alike, still cannot see that they are beaten. Blind men they are, and obstinate, refusing to accept facts, forever confirmed in their persistent folly by the memory of those quiet words of William the Silent:

"Point n'est besoin d'espérer pur entrependre
Ni de réussir pur persévérer."

"Hope is not essential to our efforts nor do we require
the encouragement of success to persevere."


Holland's men fight on
Holland's men fight on


Queen Wilhelmina and cabinet(?)


To lead not by the power of the whip but by the power of example; to unite not with the chains of slavery but with the bonds of common faith and common hopes, these are the qualities of the good ruler.

Many have been the princes of Orange who, by virtue of these very qualities, have again and again reaffirmed and strengthened the covenant long since sealed between the people of Holland and the first prince of Orange. But none has done more to earn the loyalty of this nation than good Queen Wilhelmina.

A just and enlightened ruler in time of prosperity, she has by her fortitude in distress become the true mother of her country. Driven from her land, reviled, slandered and abused by those who vainly try to break the age-old bond, she stands today a tower of strength unto her people, humble unto God, conscious always of her self-chosen task:

"To keep the voice and the symbol of Holland alive, as an inspiration and a rallying point for those of our army, our fleet and our countless empire subjects--nay, Dutch men and women all over the world--who will give their all for the resurrection of the dearly beloved motherland. To keep the banner aloft, unseen and yet ever present for those who h ave lost their voice but not their hope or vision. To speak for Holland to the world, not of the rightness of its cause which needs no advocacy in the eyes of honest men, nor of the unspeakable horrors or the infamous tricks inflicted on its gallant army and its innocent population, but of the values, the ideals, the Christian civilization that Holland at the side of its allies is helping to defend against the onslaught of barbarism. To remain true to the motto of the House of Orange, of Holland, of all that immense part of the world that is fighting for what is infinitely more precious than life: Je maintiendrai."


This booklet has been prepared and printed for the Queen Wilhelmina Fund by
the Netherlands Information Bureau, 10 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, Oct. 1942


Acknowledgments are due to International News Photos for the pictures reproduced respectively on the lower half of page 10 and the upper half of page 20. To the New York Times for the photograph reproduced in the lower half of page 9. To Pix for the photograph on page 16. To Herbert Nott for the photograph in the lower right corner of page 23. To This Week Magazine and the Readers Digest for the letter reproduced on pages 12 and 13.

The illustrations on the cover are reproduced from drawings by Jessica Stonor.



Transcribed and formatted by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation