WWII resistance hero Rudi Hemmes dies at age 99
World War II Dutch Resistance fighter Rudi Hemmes passed away at the age of 99. Omroep West reports that the football club HBS, where he served as honorary chairman, made the announcement of his passing.
Hemmes assumed the resistance role even before he was formally enlisted in the Dutch Air Force. When the Germans invaded the Netherlands when he was 16 years old, he began looking for ways to sabotage the occupiers by putting sugar in the gas tanks of the enemy.
Hemmes was one of the young men who attempted to sail to England during the War in a dangerous attempt to join the Allies. He left for the other side of the ocean in May 1943, and it took him until February 1944 to get there.
When he arrived, he joined the Princess Irene Brigade and left for Normandy as reinforcements. He arrived at Arromanches, which was code-named Gold Beach during the last month of the Battle of Normandy, as a member of a brigade of 1,100 soldiers.
They continued north from there, finally entering the southern Netherlands. During Operation Pheasant, a two-week onslaught that was crucial in driving the Germans out of Noord-Brabant, Hemmes assisted in liberating Tilburg.
For his accomplishments, Hemmes received a number of honors, including being made an honorary citizen of The Hague in June 2013. The war hero was even mentioned by King Willem-Alexander in his throne speech for Prinsjesdag in 2019.
The king quoted Hemmes, saying, “‘I feel a duty to relay the lesson to younger generations that you must act in resistance if necessary.'” “This warrior gave his life as a young man to protect the future of our country. And even after 75 years, he is still motivated by the future. That is not only motivating; it is a task that we must all complete, said Willem-Alexander.
Because they share a similar responsibility, the king requested that the nation’s political leaders use Hemmes as an example of how to conduct themselves.