The Netherlands / Story

Former resistance takes control




Upon the arrival of the liberators, the Netherlands Internal Armed Forces (Nederlandse Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten (NBS)) would take over power, while the Canadian troops would move on. The Netherlands would be ruled under Military Authority until the war was completely over. In Zuidwolde, this was supposed to be under the leadership of Jan Andrea, a resident of Hoofdstraat 30. He was the commander of the Netherlands Internal Armed Forces in Zuidwolde, but not of the resistance. Things ran a little differently as a result.

Separate groups that fell under the Orde Dienst (Orderly Service (OD)), made up of former soldiers, were created for post-liberation policing. The OD groups actually wanted to fight in the liberation and continued to form a military authority. Many OD members were also willing to fight in a Knokploeg (assault squad (KP)) squad while awaiting liberation.

In and around Hoogeveen and Zuidwolde, the assault squads consisted exclusively of non-ODs. These assault squads were led by Rieks Zomer and friends Jan Naber and Albert Rozeman. Hemke van der Zwaag became provincial leader of the KP in Drenthe. This was something Rieks Zomer had great difficulty with. He therefore went his own way and, along with his people, did what they were set up to do: picking up NSB members. The official Netherlands Internal Armed Forces accepted that Rieks carried out the arrests in 'his' area with 'his' groups.

Once that task was over, the various groups stayed together for a few more weeks but eventually disbanded. Rieks Zomer retired as leader of his group in this region. Jan Andrea then became the official leader of the Internal Armed Forces in Zuidwolde. His task was mainly to arrange surveillance of key buildings. After all, they were still under military rule. That lasted until 4 March 1946.