The wartime girls.

Vrouwen in de Tweede Wereldoorlog

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Women who served during WW II still underestimated

When Elaine Harmon died at the age of 95, she had hoped her ashes would laid to rest at Arlington. Elaine Harmon was a WASP –Women Airforce Service Pilots in the Second World War. But a new rule decided otherwise: no women are allowed at Arlington, because the cemetary is running out of space.

From the moment that the WASP- program was started in 1942, General Henry H. ‘Hap’Arnold hoped the women would get the full military status, but that never happened and today even after their death this status is still denied.

The WASP was founded in the summer of 1941 on initiative of Jacqueline “Jackie” Cochran and test-pilot Nancy Harkness Love. The United Kingdom had already a program for women to become a non-combattant flyer, which was called the ATA- Air Transport Auxiliary  and Jackie Cochran was determinded to start a similar program in the United States of America. When female pilots flew aircraft from factories to military bases, this would free the male pilots to fly warmissions. Many American female pilots followed Cochran to Britain and became members of the ATA.

WASP during engine familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

WASP during engine familiarization training. (U.S. Air Force photo)

However, the American Airforce ran out of male pilots because of the war, so there was no alternative than to draft women for a transport unit. The WASP was born with Cochran in command. Over 1.000 women joined the program from 1942 till 1944. They flew sixty million miles of operational flights from aircraft factories to ports of embarkation and military training bases. They also towed targets for live anti-aircraft artillery practice, simulated strafing missions, and transported cargo. But after the war all these women were soon to be forgotten. After decades of lobbying, the WASP finally earned veteran status, but they were not guaranteed military burial rights.

Tiffany Miller has started a petition to change this ridiculous rule. Let us never forget the warefforts of military nor civilians, men nor women!


Women Airforce Service Pilots

-to sign the petition:


Eerste vrouwelijke militair overleden

Op 8 september jl. overleed de eerste vrouwelijke militair, Francien de Zeeuw, op 93-jarige leeftijd.
Tijdens de oorlogsjaren zat zij in het verzet. Tegen het eind van de oorlog stond ze aan de wieg van de Marva -Marine Vrouwenafdeling van de krijgsmacht.

Francien de Zeeuw werd geroemd om haar heldhaftigheid en haar risicovolle verzetsdaden.

Francien de Zeeuw

Voor meer over Francien de Zeeuw en de Marva: zie hier

Revenge at Birkenau

It proofed to be more than a legend. In World War II a woman killed a Nazi guard at Birkenau while she was ordered to strip en route to the gas chambers.
But still no one knows for certain who she was. Often is suggested that this women was Franceska Mann, a Jewish -Polish actress and dancer.

Franceska Mann 1917-1943

Franceska Mann 1917-1943

In honor of International Holocaust Remembrance Day (Jan. 27), Randy Herschaft of the AP posted a document attesting to the incident found in the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. The document was declassified in 2010:

INCIDENTS: 48.  Informant remembers that in Nov 43 there occurred the celebrated incident when a notorious S.S. SCHARFUEHRER, SCHILLINGER, one of the worst murderers and henchmen in Birkenau, was shot dead with his own revolver by a French Jewish actress who had already been stripped naked and was about to be gassed. Incidentally, informant states that men in the KWARANTENENLAGER were able to witness the almost daily spectacle of open lorry loads of naked women who were being carted from the adjacent FRAUENLAGER for liquidation in the gas chambers.

While incident has been published before, but the identity of the woman who killed Josef Schillinger — and was subsequently killed — isn’t precisely known. The shared author of Holocaust-related blogs Scrapbookpages and Further Glory point to Franceska Mann, while Sir Martin Gilbert suggests the woman’s last name may have been Horowitz.

As an aside, JewishGen features additional testimony from a survivor tattooed with the same number as the informant described in the NARA document.


More information about the shooting incident, however in German, is to be found on:
And a book by Cynthia Southern:

Book the story of Franceska Mann

World War Two heroine’s George Cross could fetch £300k

She was called “the bravest of us all”.

Violette Reine Elizabeth Szabo was born in France, but during Second World War she became a member of Special Operations Executive -a Britsh organization who send special agents and saboteurs to foreign countries, occupied by the Nazis. Szabo was one of those agents. She was send by the SOE to occupied France.

She was an excellent agent, but unfortunately she was caught by the German army and executed in the concentration camp for women: Ravensbrück.
After the war Violette Szabo was awarded posthumously with the George Cross for her merites.

Her daughter has to sell this medal, because of her own bad financial situation.

Read more about this special agent and the sell by her daughter:

Violette Szabo

The medals of Violette Szabo

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Vrouwen eren op 4 mei

De Zesde Clan

Historici richtten zich in hun geschiedenis over het verzet in Nederland, tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog, voornamelijk op de daden van mannen. Vrouwen bleven te vaak onzichtbaar, betoogt hoogleraar vrouwengeschiedenis Marjan Schwegman.

Monument ‘Vrouwen in het Verzet’, onthuld in 1999.

Natuurlijk zijn er altijd mannen, zoals historicus Coen Hilbrink, die vinden dat het allemaal wel meevalt. Hij gaat echter nauwelijks in op de argumenten van Schwegman. Ook negeert hij de context. Vrouwengeschiedenis staat pas sinds begin jaren tachtig van de vorige eeuw op de kaart. Voor die tijd hadden geschiedschrijvers er algemeen een handje van om de daden van vrouwen te negeren.

Ook de periode van de tweede wereldoorlog ontkwam niet aan een mannelijke blikvernauwing. Ja, Hannie Schaft kunnen de meeste mensen nog wel noemen. Maar voor de rest? Truus Menger-Oversteegen, zegt u dat wat? Jacoba van Tongeren? ‘Tante Riek‘? De zusjes Truus en Freddie Oversteegen? Siet Tammens? Dirigente Frieda…

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Embassy to Help Honor the Efforts of Rosie the Riveter during World War II

on May  2  a ceremony was held at the Dutch embassy in Washington specially for all the ‘Rosie the Riveters’during the war. This was the announcement for that event:

rosie-the-riveterIn honor of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands during World War II, the Royal Netherlands Embassy; Thanks! Plain and Simple; DC Dutch; and Dr. Hugo Keesing will recognize the remarkable women known as Rosie the Riveter, or Rosies, for their contributions to the war effort.

The Rosies, to be honored at the Royal Netherlands Embassy, are in their 90s. They represent the nearly 6 million American women who worked on the home front during World War II.  As civilians, Rosies joined the war-time workforce and did what many considered, “man’s work.” These trailblazing women worked as riveters, welders, sheet-metal workers, farmhands and more.

The people of the Netherlands were direct beneficiaries of the work of the Rosies. In 1945, thousands of Dutch citizens were starving, but B17 planes built by the Rosies and flown during “Operation Manna” dropped life-sustaining food.

At the recognition ceremony, Dutch Ambassador Rudolf Bekink and Defense Attaché Ralph Reefman will express their gratitude on behalf of the Dutch people to the Rosies for their efforts, which still resonate today.

Members of the media are invited to attend the ceremony. Rosies, their family members, Ambassador Bekink, and Defense Attache Reefman will be available to speak with the press.