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Een Hollander met een Duitse Naam

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Een Hollander met een Duitse Naam - Page Text Content

FC: Een Hollander Met een Duitse Naam

1: Voor de Familie | For the ones who will miss him most

2: The Life of Antonie Waltmann

3: 1 - The Beginning Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. The glory of creation. Matthew 6:28-29

4: Antonie Waltmann, better known as Ton was from a large family and was born on the 26th February 1923. He was the second boy in a family of seven children, with three brothers and three sisters. He, along with his six siblings, was raised in Amsterdam North, in Holland. By his own stories it is known that he had a very happy childhood especially with younger brother Frans who would continually play jokes on the rest of the family. He lived with both his mother and his father, his mother stayed at home and suffered from Diabetes and his father worked in a button and fabric making factory. His childhood, and childhood stories, was filled with riding his bicycle and playing backyard football with the other children in the neighborhood. He loved his parents dearly and was extremely dedicated to his ailing mother. He went to the local technical school and even though he was not academic, he was very gifted with his strong technical imagination. He loved to build things from left over pieces of steel and also enjoyed working with wood to make things. It seemed like a strange idea, and was only really a dream, but he dreamt of one day becoming a designer of men’s suits, all due to the influence of his father's work in a fabric and button factory.

5: He had a catholiAc upbringing and this upbringing was a great influence, he has always held on to his strong Christian belief for all of his life, never once did he have any doubts about his faith. He also became known for his very strong sense of right and wrong and duty to his family, this alone gave him the strength, and will, to take responsibility for their safety and well-being during the war. When he was only sixteen he started to learn a trade of electro-technical craftsman and was going to the local technical college at night for five days a week. He was still attending this technical college at the age of seventeen when his ordeal with the war began. Holland became an occupied country and men from Holland were forced to travel to other countries to work. Fortunately, Ton survived his ordeal, he had managed to look after his family and he was alive.

6: 2 - The Middle All things are possible to him who believes. The power of faith in the struggle of life. Mark 9:23

7: After the war Ton continued to attend the local Technical College studying telecommunications. At the time all the young people would go to the local dance school and have socials dance nights every Saturday and Sunday. It was at once such dance when he met his future wife (Maria van Zanten, better known as Rie). They danced, and after a few more dances, they got to know each other. It was around this time that he was offered a contract with a Telecommunications contractor to go to South Africa for a three year contract to set up the systems there. He had no hesitation at all; he felt that he needed to get away from Holland in order to recover from his time during the war. After only nine months of having met Rie he asked her to marry him and go with him to South Africa. She accepted and in 1951 they got married and went on a honeymoon to South Africa, they then settled down, and lived in South Africa since. He was 28 and she was only 21 years of age. They had a turbulent marriage at first but Ton was very dedicated to his wife who later also got Diabetes.

8: They had five children of whom two boys died very soon after they were born. He had a daughter Conny, a son Andre and youngest daughter Marja. In total he had 12 grandchildren. Ton spent a lot of dedicated hours working for the local Catholic churches where he lived. He helped out as priest's assistant or he would work hours tirelessly fixing things at the church buildings or visiting sick people. He was a very caring person and many people knew him for that he also only lived a simple life despite his many talents. In 1956 he designed safety equipment for Telkom the government owned Telecommunications Company. He continually worked on bettering his designs and the special ladder that he designed for fixing phone lines is still being used even today. He loved practical work and to work with his hands as well as being out in the field, upon being promoted to a desk job, he was disappointed because it meant that he wouldn’t do as much practical work. He retired early and continued to do community work such as work for the church and visiting sick people.

9: 3 - The End I can do nothing on my own authority; as I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me. John 5:30

10: After his early retirement he worked very hard to look after his wife. Later on they both moved into a retirement village in Margate, near Durban, known as the village of Happiness. There they lived in cottage number 53, a small cottage, with a small garden that Ton worked tirelessly to keep in good condition. The Village had its own Church in which Ton helped as much as he could, and could frequently be found attending mass there. Nearby in the rural area near Margate and Durban Ton’s eldest daughter, Conny lived on a dairy farm. He would often visit them and help out on the farm. He loved to see his grandchildren, especially those who lived overseas, and he so rarely saw. Among other things, he was known for his strange sense of humor, as well as his love for his family. As the years past, Rie’s diabetes worsened and Ton spent a lot of time making sure that she was happy. Late in his life she went blind due to her severe diabetes and eventually turned senile. Around the time of the tragic event Ton was diagnosed with Cancer. After a year of operations and therapy Ton went into a coma and died. At his funeral in October 2007 he was remembered mostly for his dedication to his wife and also for the numerous good deeds that he had done during his life. He is outlived by his wife of 55 years

11: Standing in your small home flat Pretty home pictures on the wall Hanged aligned were they were sat, Secured well so they won’t fall Your long sleeved shirt of green and blue Comforting, soft and warm You wear a woollen jacket too It’s nothing but the norm The best thing is the way you smile With all your face at once You smile with such a friendly style It never leaves my conscience I never thought I knew you well After meeting long ago But then you left with no farewell And with no warning tears flowed

12: Een Hollander Met een Duitse Naam A creative retelling of an event

13: 10 May, 1940 five AM. I was awakened by a number of airplanes flying over my house and town. Looking out of the attic window I saw hundreds of parachutists jumping out of German Junker planes. This was the beginning of a five year occupation of Holland by Germany. The Dutch defence forces capitulated after only four days of fighting, mainly because of the heavy bombing of Rotterdam. The Germans almost immediately ordered a complete blackout to prevent Allied forces from recognizing areas from the sky. As I was going to the Technical night school 5 nights a week it was a mission in itself to travel by bike in the pitch darkness of the night. Manoeuvring over tram rails etc. from the North of Amsterdam to the east side, in rain, and sometimes snow, only able to use 20 percent of the bicycle lights. In November of that year the Germans | started gradually prosecuting Jews which resulted in heavy protests, strikes, shootings and killings. Deportation of Jews followed and thousands of men, woman, children and the crippled were transported to concentration camps via cattle carriages. One night as I was leaving the school I saw people, driven by the hundreds in trucks on a side line behind the school. At the time we were not yet aware of the terrible fate that awaited those people. Of the hundreds of thousands of Amsterdam Jews only five thousand survived. In the meantime, practically every night an ever growing number of Allied bombers were flying over my town, choosing our air space because canals such as the Zuiderzee provided them with good ground beacons. My family of nine, consisting of my parents, 3 brothers and 3 sisters, lived in a

14: single story house with a small attic, this was situated just seven hundred metres from the entrance of the Fokker airplane factory. The Germans camouflaged the factory and surrounding areas with cane constructed houses similar to our own, in order to mislead the allied planes. Several attempts had been made to bomb that factory and I remember very well my panic stricken mother and always calm and encouraging father during these terrifying air raids. I was an Electro-Technical trained craftsman and because of this the German wanted me in their factories in Germany, and under the pressure of threats to my family I gave in and decided to go. They sent me to Ludwigshaven to a firm called I.G. Farben Industries, manufacturing many things from mothballs to basic materials for U boats and airplanes. The complex was13km long and 9km | wide all linked together by underground trains. I started insinuating that I was ill with a Bladder problem, they started to make me out for a ‘dummer kaaskopf’, too lazy to work and too backwards to understand anything. Eventually they decided that this ‘kaaskopf’ wasn’t working hard enough and they sent me back to Holland where I got a temporary permit from the Labour Bureau to stay in Holland. More and more Germans were needed at their ever growing frontiers and therefore they needed men from various occupied countries to replace them in the factories. I was once again forced to go to Germany 3 years after the start of this whole nightmare. This time I went to the Deutsche Eselstahlworks at Remscheld, near Wuppertal. The train was held up at Kln Deutsch, a small railway station in Cologne and we were forced to stay

15: overnight in wooden barracks. That night air sirens were roaring, and without the slightest clue where the bomb shelters where we had no choice but to stay just where we were. After about half an hour of waiting in total darkness, the first massive bombardment from the allied forces happened. It was on a town in Germany and it was completely unexpected. After some time all the flood lights were shot up by RAF pathfinders and all that followed was complete darkness and silence. And then the silence was broken. All hell had broken loose; the sky was now light from flares and phosphor bombs. All I can say is thank goodness that we weren’t hit because our barracks were situated on the border of a large munitions factory, protected only by anti-air strike balloons. All this was put to the back of my mind a few days later when I started | work at the new factory where they cast all sorts of engines, blocks, and pistons for airplanes and tanks. Again I started complaining of my ‘illness’ and either I was a champion liar or the officials had a soft spot for this German named Hollander, but they finally let me go back home. Once I was back at home I was relieved to find out that everyone in my family was alive and well, but the surrounding area of our house really did look like a bombed German town. Many houses and buildings had been destroyed and nearby, Amsterdam’s largest Catholic Church had received a direct hit. There had been five hundred schoolchildren in the church at the time, but luckily only two had been killed. I wasn’t to know then, but one of those children that had survived the devastating event was to be my wife. The labour bureau started having

16: difficulty believing my stories so, with the help of a friend, Piet Bouman an underground leader; I got hold of a forced labour certificate and ended up working at a water plane factory in Haarlem. While I was working here I heard that Piet Bouman’s underground group had been caught, tortured and shot. In order to protect my employer I destroyed my certificate without anyone knowing. On the 5 December, the night of St. Nicholas, I was celebrating at our dancing school when we were raided by the German Green Police. Without my certificate I didn’t stand a chance so I made for the ladies toilets and climbed through a hole in the ceiling into a store room. I hid there while the Germans searched and placed a man to guard the room. After what seemed like hours I heard a few commands being issued and they left. I was still free, but not for long. | The next week i was on the train in Haarlem when some German security police boarded the train. I was about to jump from the already moving train when I felt the cold, hard, steel of a revolver barrel being pushed into the back of my neck. This was the beginning of a long hard journey from jail to jail, being interrogated and treated roughly. Just before Christmas I was transported, heavily guarded, to concentration camp Amersfoort, and after singing that night, we arrived on Christmas Eve. For 10 weeks I was stuck there, starving and cold. Finally I was sent back to Germany. The Germans at the Remscheid factory felt sorry for me, and as I accused them of having given me invalid papers that had landed me in the concentration camp; they got me into the Police commissioner of Wuppertal, who issued me with a proper

17: certificate to stay in Holland. As Germany started realizing that the war was not going well for them they began to steal everything. Food, bicycles and even hand push-carts, Raidings of men, especially the young, became the order of the day. My brothers and then, later on, my sisters were able to go underground with farmers from the northern part of the province. My experience with hunger warned me at an early stage to get food for my parents. I constructed an old heavy bicycle with solid wheels, which the Germans did not like and therefore would not confiscate, and chose to take my trips when the weather was really very bad. I stayed over at different farms, usually where my brothers and sisters were, to bring news and greeting to and from Mum and Dad. Beans were plentiful in that area and I managed to take home mainly broad, brown and white beans. | The more I try to think about those years rhe more scenes flash through my mind. I remember so many things, like collecting wood with my father, and dragging branches home in the early hours of the morning. The war was technically over and the boys came out of hiding and started and started to make bonfires. The Germans were still on edge, and most of them started getting more aggressive because they knew they would soon have to leave. The war was over, I had my family back, I was free. A true story of events originally recounted by Antonie Waltmann

18: A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as i have loved you. that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples John 13:34-35

19: Gather up the fragments left over, that nothing may be lost. John 6:12

20: He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39

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  • Title: Een Hollander met een Duitse Naam
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  • Published: about 11 years ago