How Three Young Armored Girls Offered Five Leadership Training

We know from academic research that women and men face conflicts and their consequences – and peace – differently. Traditionally, women have always been portrayed as victims, whereas, a closer look at research – and personal knowledge – shows that they are real women who are good leaders in times of conflict and crisis and who can rebuild people after conflicts. . In addition, they are good innovators and change managers. The reputation of many of these courageous women has been hidden from public view. Below, below, meet three amazing and courageous young women who demonstrated their goal-oriented leadership during World War II: Hannie Schaft and sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen.

As a teenager, I was intrigued by the story of Hannie Schaft, a portrait of Dutch women, to whom I presented my high school report. I was very impressed with my research and asked Truus Oversteegen, a friend of Hannie’s critics and friend who was still alive at the time. Immediately the bond grew from there. Truus believed me with his story, introduced me to his sister Freddie, invited me to be a speaker at the National Hannie Schaft Memorial and served on the foundation team. This grew into a lasting 20-year relationship and a lifelong career. I drew the story of three famous people in my book Attraction and Killing the Nazis.

Hannie Schaft (19) and sisters Truus (16) and Freddie (14) Oversteegen were three Dutch girls when World War II broke out when Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940. The girls were immediately deprived of their childhood and suffered a major setback. . a question beyond what is expected of them: change or rejection?

She decided to reject the Nazi regime “if necessary, with weapons” like the few other women who did. Their mission was to gather the knowledge necessary to resist, to provide Jewish children with secure housing, to steal identification papers, to attack and blow up railways and other ideal places. The most dangerous – and the most dangerous – will be the “annihilation” (murder) of the Nazis and the Dutch. Sometimes they can use their youth, beauty, femininity and sexual power as secret weapons of war. They dressed appropriately, went to dance clubs to impress Nazi officials, dragged them into the woods, and executed them.

The three girls came from a variety of backgrounds and had very different personalities. They first met in their opposition room in the summer of 1943. Hannie was dry-headed and intelligent; Truus was a world leader and natural leader; and Freddie was both feminish and cruel. What made these remarkable women so successful, and what can we learn from them?

First, they were theirs passion. Instead of trying to impress the boys with their cosmetics and laughter, they focused on fighting injustice. Principles of justice, peace and equality were imposed on all three from infancy. The sisters of Oversteegen were raised by their divorced mother who was actively involved in the Dutch Communist Party and Hannie was a passionate law student.

Their second desire was theirs purpose – a secure life. He also respected the common denominator and was forced to take up arms against the injustices of the German occupation. They did what they did “for it to be done,” as it were, with strong faith, integrity, and loyalty. They were inspired by a code of ethics based on their strong moral compass. They lived and breathed this beautiful ideas which empowered them to survive despite the threat of war such as famine, cold, and the constant threat. These principles enabled them to see opportunities to contribute to a just and equitable world, to reason wisely, and to inspire courage to do what was right.

A third benefit of sharing was their faith people. Their purpose was humanity first – that is, they felt strongly, and what they had for the people. Compassion, compassion, and cooperation were invaluable. Following these principles, they laid down their lives for themselves, went a long way, and showed extraordinary courage. Their biggest challenge was to remain human in harsh conditions.

Fourth, these three girls were a visionary. They adopted a variety, including international view which was new, smart and stable. Prejudice was rampant. He endeavored to live in a society in which Jews, non-Jews, homosexuals, people of all races and women would be accepted for their personality. In discussing post-conflict rebuilding Truus emphasized equal treatment, Freddie was a woman activist and it was Hannie’s dream to work for the League of Nations (United Nations presidency) in Geneva to promote world peace and security.

Fifth, the three girls were miraculously discovered endurance. The three female warriors bravely carried out dangerous tasks that were not only technically difficult, but also psychologically difficult. They persevered in their “works” in spite of their physical pain (hunger, cold, self-hiding, hiding) and depression (grief, depression, depression, heartache, guilt, guilt). They lost their fellow members of the opposition, who were at the forefront of the war, always had to remain silent as they were and carry heavy burdens on their shoulders in connection with the German retaliation and the assassination. She showed courage, walking on their strong moral compass and moving forward.

Unfortunately, Hannie Schaft did not survive the war. He was arrested and executed by the Nazis shortly before the end of the war and became a symbol of Dutch women’s resistance during World War II. The sisters in Oversteegen survived the war, but they were constantly harassed by the demons of old. Truus became a popular public speaker, sculptor and artist until his death in 2016. Freddie lived a secret life, looking after his family until the end of 2018.

This story is unique and wonderful. However, as a lawyer who has acted on international legal issues especially on women in war, I found the example of other women leaders during my research in post-conflict areas such as Kosovo, Bosnia, Herzegovina and Rwanda. We also see the same political and industrial and domestic issues, for example the COVID-19 epidemic, the economic crisis, climate change. That’s why I started my own organization Women of War Sophie highlighting women’s leadership in times of conflict, crisis and change.

In a divided world, there are many leadership lessons we can draw from these women that we can translate into our own country. Let them enrich you and inspire you and challenge you to take a moment to look in the mirror and reflect on your life to discover the purpose and the main points that motivate you.

About the Author: Sophie Poldermans, who lives in the Netherlands, is the owner and co-founder of “Sophie’s Women of War,” enlightening women leaders during times of conflict, crisis and change. He is the author of the New York Post & Amazon best-seller “The Cheating and Killing of the Nazis. Hannie, Truus and Freddie: Dutch Resistance Heroines of WWII (USA, 2019). He knew Truus and Freddie Oversteegen for 20 years and worked with them for years. More than a dozen members of the Dutch National Hannie Schaft Foundation, a global speaker, educator and consultant on women and the war, women’s leadership and entrepreneurial skills that promote women’s rights around the world.

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