The Story of Bodo Sandberg

Subtitle

"Oom Boebie" in Dachau

Mom’s brother Willem Leonard Brugsma (uncle “Boebie”) became fiercely active in de “Ondergrondse” the Dutch resistance. He even secretly went to Paris to join forces with the French Resistance and General de Gaule, until the Nazis caught him and, worse than my Dad (Dad was "only" in a German Prisoner of War camp) Boebie was put in German Concentration Camps!  

Actually the worst German Concentration Camps of all: Neuengamme, Natzweiler-Struthof and Dachau!

At the tender age of 19

(poor Boebie had screaming nightmares for the rest of his life)

What saved his life (at least his physical life...), were two things: 1) he not only happened to speak fluent German, he actually spoke “Hoch Deutsch” (i.e. German in its chiquest, most elite pronunciation), as well as English and French fluently, so they used him for translations; and 2) he was a very handsome Caucasian, so the racists spared him.

Later in life Boebie became one of Holland’s most famous Journalists, and TV Stars.     He was known and admired as “W.L. Brugsma”, Chief Editor of “De Haagse Post”.

W.L. ("Boebie") Brugsma 

Convinced that not all Germans were Nazis but most were in fact very good people, Boebie dedicated his life after the war to reconcile with Germans. In the process he became very close friends with Prins Claus, Queen Beatrix’s husband, himself a German, to the point that, when Boebie died in 1997, Prins Claus personally attended his funeral.

H.R.H. Prins Claus of the Netherlands (1926-2002)

 
In 1966, when then Crown Princess Beatrix wanted to marry Fhr. Claus von Amsberg, some people in Holland objected to him in the role of husband of the future Queen of the Netherlands because he was German. Fortunately, during his life in Holland, as the Queen's husband, he did win people's hearts and minds and the Dutch became very fond of Prins Claus.

To go to the next chapter, please go to the top of this page, in the left hand column and click on: "Dad finally home"

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