Soon after the Occupation began, Hein was released, along with the rest of our captured soldiers.  They were not taken prisoner because they were no the military brass.  The Dutch army or what was left of it was simply dissolved.  Hein returned to the office at Shell, where they passed him through various jobs in training to go abroad, which was something both of us wanted to do before the war started. 

It was no more than a few months after the Occupation began that we realized there were things that simply had to be done.  When we saw injustice, we all felt it; we couldn't just sit there and do nothing.  But what could we do?  The atrocities toward the Jews all around were beginning, and we felt that it was our duty to act in some way.  But it took time for us to know exactly what, when, and how we could do something.

Right from the beginning, the Occupation created ambiguities, arguments, and difficult struggles within Christian circles.  When Jesus lived, his country was occupied by the Romans, and everyone remembered what he said: " Give to Caesar what is Caesar's."  Jesus Christ never preached rebellion against the Romans.  Part of the struggle, the moral struggle, was the belief that what had happened in our country was in fact ordained by God: some people claimed that we shouldn't interfere with what went on because the Occupation itself was God's will.  Even my brother was originally inclined to think that one simply could not work against the Germans if one followed the teachings of Scripture.

The queen and the government had left for England in the early moments of the five-day invasion, and there was a whole group in Holland who said that the queen had no right to lead us anymore.  Those of us who remained behind were required to obey the government that God had given us now that is, the Germans.  But Hein and I and many others felt that our royal family had been crowned in a religious ceremony, with the words "by the grace of God."  We felt the queen was our rightful government, and we felt that we were doing what the Lord wanted when we obeyed her.  That's why, later in the occupation when the queen actually told the Dutch to go on strike against the Germans, we did it, although our actions cost many lives.

Many people in our church, the Christian Reformed Church, felt that the queen was still our head, not the Nazi puppets.  But the church we called the "black-stocking church" leaned toward the other point of view: that our burden was to be in subjection to whatever higher powers God had placed over us.  People who took that point of view were never very strong in the Resistance because they thought resistance against the established government was, quite simply, sin.

 

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