Monday, January 30, 2012

The Jiu Jitsu Photo Album of Hans van der Stok

Over the years I've been in contact with Johan Smits who is researching jujutsu in Holland from 1900 to 1945. He recently published The Jiu Jitsu Photo Album of Hans van der Stok: Dutch Resistance Fighter and Secret Agent.
Hans, an ardent practitioner of jiu jitsu, had escaped from occupied Holland to England, trained as a secret service agent, and returned to Holland to join the Dutch resistance. While resisting the occupation of his homeland he was captured, imprisoned and eventually executed.
Smits explains that the photo album was given as a gift by the mother of a student (van der Stok) to his jujutsu instructor, 'a well known jujutsu master, Johan van der Bruggen.'

This book can be purchased through Amazon (

The Dutch Resistance Museum 'tells the story of the Dutch people in Word War II. How did Dutch people respond to the Nazi occupation? Who resisted? Why, and how?' They explain:
Taking photographs was restricted during the German occupation. Many subjects were considered undesirable by the Nazis. ... Thankfully, all these restrictions didn’t stop a number of photographers recording wartime conditions. Many of the photographs taken by professional photographers became familiar images after the war, but the pictures taken by amateurs generally disappeared into family albums stored away in cupboards.
The museum was established in 1985. It was relocated to its present premises in 1999, the same year that Jan de Jong visited Europe for the last time. I'm sure he would have been interested in visiting the museum.

The New Netherlands Institute have this to say about the Dutch resistance in Hans Koning's biography:
Koning was educated at the University of Amsterdam from 1939 to 1941, ... While at the University of Amsterdam, he joined the Dutch resistance against the Nazis, but the resistance was infiltrated by the Nazis to such a degree, that it was extremely dangerous to be part of it.
Recall from the post on Jan de Jong's war years, reference to Englandspiel, the 'England game'. Englandspiel was the infiltration of the Dutch resistance by the Nazis. They operated captured transmitters and reported to London from 1942 until 1 April, 1944, All Fools Day, when the sarcastic message was sent to Mssrs Blunt, Bingham & Co. advising them that their 'sole agent' in occupied Holland was signing off after their 'long and successful cooperation'.

Operation Englandspiel delivered more than 50 Allied agents straight into the arms of the Gestapo of which only eight survived. 4,000 messages had been exchanged with London, 350 resistance workers had been arrested, and 350 containers of supplies were dropped to the waiting enemy.

This is a photograph of a memorial erected in Holland to those who perished as a result of Englandspiel. It reads:
They jumped into their death for our freedom
1942 -1944
In grateful memory of the 54 Dutch agents and all those that fell during their intelligence missions.

Towards the end of 1943, two agents escaped from a Dutch prison and made their way back to England to warn SOE that what they believed to be a strong Dutch resistance was in fact a fiction. Giskes (pictured right, the officer in charge of Englandspiel, had sent a message to England warning SOE that the two agents had been turned and were in fact double agents. The agents were promptly imprisoned when they arrived in England.

Was Hans van der Stok one of the victims of Engandspiel?

Smits is correct when he writes that Hans van der Stok's story fully deserves to be told, as I do concerning Jan de Jong's.

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