Freddie Oversteegen, a true World War II hero, passed away on September 5, one day short of her 93rd birthday, reports the IJmuider Courant. Oversteegen was part of the Dutch Resistance and lured Nazis into the woods under false pretenses. The men thought that they had struck it lucky and that they would soon be making out with the lovely Oversteegen, only to embrace the cold touch of death when she shot them.
Freddie & Truus Oversteegen Recruited As Young Teenagers
Oversteegen was a member of one of the most effective and famous Dutch resistance cells, the Raad van Verzet or Council of Resistance, of the Second World War. This particular cell was charged with saving Jewish children, destroying railway lines, killing Nazis, and ending the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands by any necessary means.
“A man wearing a hat came to the door and asked my mother if he could ask us [to join the Resistance].”
Freddie and her sister, Truus Oversteegen, were just 14- and 16-years-old respectively, when they were recruited to be part of the cell which at the time consisted of seven people, according to Vice. Her mother, a divorcee who “kept us well-informed” about the war, agreed.
An Unexpected Asset In A Male-Dominated War
The Oversteegen sisters were recruited because the Council of Resistance knew that their oppressors would not easily suspect young girls. This massive advantage made it possible for them to go unnoticed as they worked in the resistance. But it seems as if it was the girls themselves who suggested that they would like to do more, according to Girl Boss.
“Only later did he tell us what we’d actually have to do: sabotage bridges and railway lines. We told him we’d like to do that … and learn to shoot Nazis.”
The Oversteegen Sisters Seduced Nazis To Kill Them
She relates a story of how Truus seduced one particular big-shot Nazi. Truus met him in a bar and they went for a stroll in the woods. In this instance, Freddie played lookout to make sure that no one was coming. A fellow resistance worker then met them by “coincidence,” and chided her.
“They apologized, turned around, and walked away. And then shots were fired, so that man never knew what hit him.
But Oversteegen didn’t escape the harsh and evil realities of wartime resistance either. In a television interview, she spoke about how the resistance affected her as a young girl.
“Yes, I too shot them. And what am I but a person? You want to pick them up.”
Hannie Schaft Later Joined The Oversteegen Sisters
In later years, a woman called Hannie Schaft joined them. The 1981 feature film The Girl With The Red Hair was about the young woman and the role she played in the Dutch resistance. Together with Hannie, the cell now consisted of three women and five men. Hannie was shot three weeks before the end of the war when a traitor gave her up. She was identified by the red roots of her hair which she had dyed black.
After Hannie’s death and the end of the war, she shot to fame with 15 streets being named after the war heroine. She was also reburied with honors, while the Oversteegen sisters never received the same kind of acclaim. It was only in 2014 that she and her sister received the Mobilization War Cross from Prime Minister Rutte. According to their cousin Matin Menger, Freddie was very honored to receive the award.
Oversteegens’ Later Life & Death
Truus went on to become a sought-after public speaker and a renowned artist. According to Freddie, she was always good at public speaking and she memorized her speeches by heart. Truus passed away at the age of 92 in 2016.
Freddie didn’t seek the limelight after the war. She got married, had three children, and is described as “a happy aunt who was crazy about her family.”
“She built a beautiful life with her husband.”
Oversteegen died in a nursing home in Driehuis, 73 years after the end of World War II.