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Biographical study of a prominent member of the resistance and former concentration camp inmate who would become a leading force behind commemorations and remembrances after the Second World War.

Pim Boellaard shortly after his liberation from Dachau

Researcher: dr. Jolande Withuis
Duration:  2006-2007
Publication: Weest manlijk, zijt sterk. Pim Boellaard 1903-2001. Het leven van een verzetsheld (Amsterdam; de Bezige Bij 2008)

More information

Pim Boellaard was a famous member of the resistance. He was commander of the western OD (Ordedienst). In September 1941 many OD members were seized, but Boellaard managed to escape, thus evading the fate of his fellow resisters who were tried and shot. But on 5 May 1942 he was also arrested and imprisoned in, respectively, Scheveningen, Haaren, Amersfoort, Natzweiler, Dachau-Allach and Dachau.

This biography focuses on themes of general interest, such as the ideological motivation that shaped Boellaard’s decision to resist and enabled him, during and after his imprisonment, to unite his fellow inmates despite huge social, political and religious differences. This portrait provides an extensive sketch of Boellaard’s early life.

Still an active man, Pim Boellaard died on 27 January 2001 at the age of 97. He left behind a considerable amount of materials, including:

  • annotated books about the war and fellow prisoners
  • photo albums about family and war
  • brochures and pamphlets
  • letters and memos about his postwar activities
  • officer agendas going back many generations

Thanks to the efforts of his son, we were able to secure and inventory this interesting material and use it as the basis for this biography.