Hannie Schaft’s Disguise Glasses
From the collection of the Dutch Resistance Museum, Amsterdam
In 1943, the red-headed Dutch student Hannie Schaft joined a Communist Resistance group in the Dutch city of Haarlem. This group liquidated betrayers. Hannie worked closely with the sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen.
The three were very determined and prepared to use violence. This was a unique situation because women in the Resistance were generally assigned to organizational and logistical tasks. Sometimes, as a smokescreen, Hannie and Truus pretended to be a couple in love. Truus recalled: ‘Then you’re there, allegedly smooching in a doorway, ready to shoot. The guy comes outside and you go after him, nervous as can be. For moral support at such a difficult and decisive moment, you need to egg each other on: “Let’s get him, that bastard!”’ When the German police went looking for a girl with red hair, Hannie dyed her hair black and wore these non-prescription glasses as a disguise. But to no avail. On 21 March 1945, just weeks short of the Liberation, Hannie was arrested and shot in the dunes by Overveen.