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L'île Noire

by Joris Goedbloed

Contributed by 
Joris Goedbloed
People in story: 
R&A Norenburg
Location of story: 
Tilburg/Langewasser or Stanislaw
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
01 February 2006

The letter 3 Oktober 1943 a few lines written by my uncle to inform his POW-brother about his visit to Tilburg, while he was already in provocative action for the Haaren resistance-group of Bim van der Klei.

In one of the other stories I already explained that there was a WW2 'harddisk' in my father's room. I mean that he had saved his letters that were written during the war. The Germans didn't destroy it, the Russians didn't. The Americans and British soldiers, probably Canadians too, I don't know, helped him to get back home. Luggage sent afterwards? I'll find out, but it is not so important. What you see in the picture is a fragment of the respond-letter of my father's parents. It's been 'Prüfed' by the German censor according to the red stamp on it. It's my uncle who writes the first lines. I wanted to upload this letter to show to you what was life about when my uncle already took part in the resistance group of Haaren, who were more or less under control of the Raad van Verzet(RvV). A Dutch Military Resistance group that had it's contacts with England and who were recruiting young people who were into hide to take part in the Secret Army. When this letter was written the Haaren-resistance group of Bim van der Klei already was into sabotage and provocative action, invited to do so by RvV. Strange enough a few hundred meters away of the Polizeigefangnis Haaren where at that time nerves where at high . The SOE-Dutch secret agents that had been dropped over Holland and who had played their part in the 'England-spiel' were kept there in prison. Desperately trying to get a message to London to stop more agents from coming into German hands of Major Giskes.(AbwehrII F)
The sabotage-actions of the resistancegroup of Haaren is well-described in the manuscript of their leader 'Smalle Weg'(p.55) .I found one copy in the library of the NIOD in Amsterdam.
It's also described by another member of the resistancegroup.
But, again, my uncle isn't very serious about this. His sister is getting engaged to her fiancée and he's there too to attend the festivity in Tilburg. That is what he writes. He's coming more often to Tilburg. And it would not surprise me if he travelled by train, Haaren is a small village near to 's Hertogenbosch/Vught and it's only a two stop train-trip to Tilburg !
Already in the thirties Hitler was screaming to the people: 'Do you want open war?', it's what my father told me, I'll have to check it out still, what he exactly meant by that. But my uncle , his grandfather had been a higher Dutch officer during the Great War (ww1)does not have any idea of what is going on now that Douhet's principle's are leading the way in this war.
Then my uncle writes that it certainly won't be long anymore.[before the war is over] And he thanks his brother for the cigarette, the tobacco and the ruler.

There is one more thing that I'd like to discuss. This story is titled L'île Noire.
L'île Noire is also the title of a cartoon by Hergé that I would like to refer to.
We live near the Belgian border in the south of the Netherlands. A few years ago , I happen to enter a cartoon-shop in the city of Liège, there are at least three of those shops in that city. And old man was selling very expensive Tintin-first edition black and white pre-war copies. And of course he wanted to have a lot of money for a copy. The man lowered his price a bit. Around the day of my birthday I gathered enough money to buy L'île Noire's very first edition. But when I went there convinced that it was worth money to spend, I feel a bit ashamed to tell you the price, the copies where gone, stolen!
You can read about these Black&White Tintin's in Marcel Wilmet's catalogue 'Tintin ,black on white' Casterman. Mr. Wilmet cooperating member of the Hergé Foundation in Brussels.
This cartoon creation started at the end of 1938.
The fly-leaf of this first edition is very special because it has a magnificent blue colour at the background and the little drawings come out in silver unbroken-lines.
Already this icon of the Tintin-adventure that has never been written : 'Le grand Nord'.
If you study on the Dutch SOE(special operation's executive), sooner or later you'll read Jo Wolter's book titled 'File Nord-Pole'.
The introduction and page one of the first chapter will do to help you understand why I feel so good about the title of this story on my BBCpage !
By the way, don't forget to read L'île Noire for it has, strangely enough, this same system for navigation to the Dropping Zone as is seen in Herman Giskes' Memoires or J.Wolter's book ' File North-Pole'. That's curious isn't it?
One of the two quotes in J.Wolter's book:
"There is none so blind as they that won't see." - Jonathan Swift

I mentioned before that the adventure of Tintin in Tibet might be related to the book and the movie 'Lost Horizon'. I can say that another of the adventures of Tintin look like related to the 'Lost Horizon' novel. It's the 1968 'Flight 714 for Sidney'-adventure. I remember quite well this adventure because it was published in the Dutch weekly the Catholic Illustrated. My parents subscribed to it after my grandfather died in 1967. 1 April.
Hergé describes a person whose having contact with the Marsians. This cartoon-crature is said to be related to Berger. Co-author of the book by Berger and Pauwels. ' The dawn of the magicians'.
Somewhere I read that Berger had been there in the camp when Nordhausen was liberated in 1945. Interesting for me to know , probably not for anyone else I suppose?

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