The Woman Who Killed Nazis Using Seduction
At just 14 years old, Freddie Oversteegen was an important part of the Dutch resistance during WWII.
Not many women had the opportunity to join the Dutch resistance during WWII, but Freddie Oversteegen fought Nazis when she was just 14 years old in a pretty unusual way. Oversteegen, now age 90, told VICE Netherlands how she and her older sister became resistance fighters.
During the war, a man came to Oversteegen's home to ask her mother if she would let her daughters join the resistance. He had a feeling that no one would suspect two young women of being Nazi killers. Their mother agreed and soon Oversteegen and her sister Truus were flirting with Nazi collaborators, luring them to the woods under the pretense of a makeout session, where they would soon be met with a bullet.
Oversteegen has never received as much recognition for her efforts in the war as her sister Truus, who went on to become a public speaker at war memorial services, nor as Hannie Schaft, one of the most famous resistance fighters of WWII, who was also part of Oversteegen's group. There are streets named after Schaft in 15 Dutch cities and she was the inspiration for the feature film 'The Girl With The Red Hair.' However, Oversteegen is still honored each year on the national day of remembrance in the Netherlands. This year she will be attending a ceremony at IJmuiden, to be honored along with others who contributed to the resistance.
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When asked by VICE reporter Noor Spanjer what goes through her mind during the ceremony's moment of silence, Oversteegen replied, "Nothing, I just shut off my thoughts completely. And then I think about the fact that a lot of people have fallen. I remember how people were taken from their homes. The Germans were banging on doors with the butts of their rifles – that made so much noise, you'd hear it in the entire neighborhood. And they would always yell – it was very frightening."
One particular incident from the war that stands out in Oversteegen's mind is the time her sister seduced a "big shot" Nazi while she kept a look out. Truus met the man in a bar, flirted with him and asked if he would accompany her on a walk. As planned, they ran into one of the resistance fighters along the way who shot and killed him.
Recounting the events of the night Oversteegen told VICE, "And then shots were fired, so that man never knew what hit him. They had already dug the hole, but we weren't allowed to be there for that part."
After the war, Oversteegen got married and had children, which she says helped her cope with the trauma of the war. There are times when she still feels jealous that she never got as much attention as her sister for her efforts during the war, but then she remembers that she was an integral part of the resistance, and just knowing that is enough.