I'm sure by now you're wondering how a 14 year-old girl would end up in such a position in the first place! The good news is her story is well documented today. Freddie's journey as a seductress and assassin began when a man visited her family home and asked her mother if the two girls could join the resistance. The man told her mother that their interest in the two girls was because they were sure no one would suspect the girls to be Nazi killers due to their gender and age.
Freddie recently spoke to VICE Netherlands and explained:
I thought we would be starting a kind of secret army. The man that came to our door said that we would get military training, and they did teach us a thing or two. Someone taught us to shoot and we learned to march in the woods. There were about seven of us then – Hannie [one of the most famous resistance fighters of WWII] wasn’t a part of the group yet and we were the only girls.
Girls in Disguise
Freddie's friend, Hannie on the right and sister Truus on the left, in their disguises.via:vintage everyday
Continue reading the thrilling and inspiring story on the next page...
Listening to and reading Freddie's words as she speaks of her time seducing and assassinating Nazis is impressive to say the least.
One of Freddie's most significant and powerful memories is of the time her older sister seduced a "big shot" Nazi while she was the lookout. From a vantage point in the woods, Freddie made sure no one was coming. She tells us in her own words:
Truus had met him in an expensive bar, seduced him and then took him for a walk in the woods. She was like: “Want to go for a stroll?” And of course he wanted to. Then they ran into someone – which was made to seem a coincidence, but he was one of ours – and that friend said to Truus: “Girl, you know you’re not supposed to be here”. We apologized, turned around, and walked away. And then shots were fired, so that man never knew what hit him.
Her memory is crisp.
Present Day Freddie Oversteegenvia:vintage everyday
Freddie's story is well known overseas and it's not hard to see why.
A Dutch Newspaper reports that the Oversteegen girls were not just known for their ability to seduce and assassinate. They also looked after people in hiding, transported weapons, delivered messages from an underground army as couriers, and even escorted Jewish children to safer places. Even more impressive is that the brave girls later went on to get involved in acts of attacks and sabotage! Talk about teenage heroes!
Freddie's friend, Hannie Schaft became an "undisputed resistance heroine" after the war. Hannie was reburied with honors in the presence of Queen Wilhelmina and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands and there are 15 cities in the Netherlands named after her. There's even a feature film about her called "The Girl With the Red Hair."
Freddie is seen here reading a poem written during the war by her friend Hannie. The picture in the book that we can see is of Hannie.via:vintage everyday
Find out what happened to the Oversteegen sisters after the war on the next page!
After the war older sister Truus went on to be a public speaker at memorial services as well as a sculptress!
Yet the now 90 year-old Freddie never got the recognition she earned and deserved for her significant role in the resistance until Dutch filmmaker Thijs Zeeman changed everything by making the Oversteegen sisters the subject of his latest TV Documentary, "Two Sisters in the Resistance." It's hard to believe it took so long for all of Freddie's tireless and heroic efforts to be brought to light and recognition.
After the war Freddie got married and began a family. She says having children helped her cope with the trauma of the war. Freddie admits there have been times she's felt jealous that she did not get as much attention and recognition as her sister for her efforts in the resistance. However, she also says that she remembers she was an "integral part of the resistance," and just knowing that is enough for her.
Truly a heroic mindset.