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Weidner Archives Will Open to Researchers

The Weidner Collection, currently being preserved and catalogued at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, will be opened to researchers after the English edition of Ordinary Heroes: The Dutch-Paris Escape Line is published in 2017.

All 100 boxes of Weidner materials arrived at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University in early February of 2013.  Included in the collection are approximately 13 linear feet of John Weidner’s personal correspondance, records, diaries, receipts, and notes from the 1943-45 period when Weidner was managing the Dutch-Paris Escape Line. 

The Dutch-Paris Escape Line was the only transnational escape line operating during World War II.  The line involved 300 Belgian, Dutch, French and Swiss men and women who opened their homes to those fleeing the Nazi occupation.  In all, over 2000 Allied aviators, Jewish refugees and political figures used the line to make their way to either Spain or Switzerland.

The line functioned in two directions.  From Holland, the line ran south as it transported and sheltered those wanted by the Nazis.  It also delivered messages from the Dutch underground to the Dutch government in exile in England.  In return, the Dutch government in exile sent information back through the line to the Dutch underground.  Going south, the line was called Dutch-Paris.  Going north, it was known as “The Swiss Way”.