Mom’s brother Willem Leonard Brugsma (uncle “Boebie”) became fiercely active in de “Ondergrondse” the Dutch resistance. He even secretly went to
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
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)