Jan Montyn

Jan Montyn (13 November 1924 – 10 August 2015)
«As a 17 year-old in the Second World War, attracted purely by the promise of adventure, he became a member of the Jeugdstorm (Dutch National Socialist Youth Movement), and participated in two Weersportkamps (Endurance Camps) in Austria. In order to escape the Arbeitseinsatz (forced labour) and the restrictiveness of Oudewater, he joined the German navy in mid-1944. In the Baltic Sea, his ship was sunk by a torpedo attack, and he barely survived. He was transferred to the trenches in Courland, where he was wounded. Upon his recovery, he was bussed to the front line at Oder, where he witnessed the bombing of Dresden first-hand. When the Russians crossed the Oder, he fled to West Germany where he was eventually captured by the Americans. He managed to escape to Marseille, where he joined the Foreign Legion. After a short period with the Foreign Legion, he deserted and gave himself up in Straatsburg. In August 1945, he was transferred to the camp in Vught, and then on to the Duindorp camp in Scheveningen. He was sentenced to three years’ internment: firstly in the re-education camp in Katwijk, and later in Nunspeet. At weekends, he would return home to Oudewater or visit the artists’ bars on the Leidseplein in Amsterdam. He returned to Oudewater in May 1948..........
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