A Stronghold of Resistance

The nostalgic looking little farmhouse at 1253 Rijnlanderweg (formerly: Sloterweg) in Nieuw Vennep, Haarlemmermeer, dates to the year 1868. However small, it contains a great history under its roof. It was a stronghold of resistance. Its original name: ‘De Zorg’ (The Caretaker) could not have been more adequate, be it that at that time, the owner couldn’t have had any idea what the future had in store for the little farm. It became a listed historical monument and received a special status. Although the building was renamed “’t Sunneke” in 1950, it remains connected to the heroic part the Bogaard family and their farm ‘De Zorg’ played during the Second World War.

The 75-year-old grandfather Hannes Bogaard lived in the small house together with his daughter Aagje, his sons Antheunis (Teun) and Willem and granddaughter Metje (daughter of Hannes jr.). From 1939 until 1943 they hid more than 150 Jewish people who went into hiding there. Besides that, it functioned as a kind of intermediate hiding place for about 3.000 Jews who the Bogaard’s sent into hiding at other places.

Unfortunately, this would not remain unnoticed. The place was known to the people in the area as the “Jews farm” and it was raided several times. This was mainly done by Dutch policemen. During the first raid nobody was found but at a second raid on November 11th, 1942, which lasted from 13.00 hrs. until well into the evening, a brickwork cellar was discovered, and subsequently twelve adults and a 4-year-old girl. During the skirmish in the house the girl ‘Leny’ was “spirited away” by Metje. Thanks to Metje’s action Leny survived the war.

The other people were deported, and Grandpa Hannes was run in. He was released after ten weeks. But still Grandpa Hannes Bogaard considered it his duty as a Christian to rescue Jews. In the Autumn of 1943, a third raid took place by Dutch WA members and a couple of SD men. Despite threats to shoot down Antheunis and to set fire to the farm and thanks to the inexorable attitude of the Bogaard’s, the hidden people were again saved from arrest and deportation by the Germans.

Henk Rebel, the founder of the Crash Air War and Resistance Museum ’40-‘455, dedicated himself to a complete historical account and formulated it as follows in October 1999:

“The menace became ever so much heavier. Unfortunately, a false story by someone who was apprehended for illegal slaughtering with twenty-five kilograms of meat in his possession, meant the end of the heroic actions of the Bogaard family. On October 6th, 1943, the fourth and fatal raid took place.”

“When Cor van Stam, during the war Commander of the Interior Armed Forces and three decades later the burgomaster of Haarlemmermeer, opened our first exhibition in 1991, he told us the story about the ‘resistance farm’ of the Bogaard family at the Sloterweg. He wanted to make a museum of the little farm. The entire municipality backed up this plan in 1992. August 20th, 1995, Cor van Stam passed away and from then on, the drive behind this initiative stopped. 
The history of the farm ‘De Zorg’ and of the Bogaard family kept playing through my mind. I wanted to know everything about it, collected pictures, reports and all publications about this brave family and their farm that understood something clearly at last in the past. Besides that, I contacted the people who went ‘underground’ at that time. All this material and the interviews gave me such a clear picture of what the farm must have looked like in those years that I was able to make an architectural model of the farm as it must have looked like in 1942.”

The model is built to scale and is exhibited in the museum supplemented with authentic photographic material. During the Second World War the laborer’s house of Sam and Antje Breijer at the 1742 IJweg, in Nieuw Vennep was a well-known hiding address in the Haarlemmermeer.
Between 1943 and 1945 eighteen to twenty people lived in this small house, its dimensions were 6 x 4 meters (18 x 12 ft). Neighbours only discovered about the hidden people when Sally Cohen (pseudonym ‘Uncle Henk’) and the others appeared from the house bearing the Dutch flag on VE-Day. On August 22nd, 2003, it had to be torn down to make way for a new house. Crash took the initiative to record and preserve its history. Some typical parts of the small house were saved and put on display in our museum.