Welcome to the website of the National Hannie Schaft Foundation. Although this website is in Dutch, we are very happy to help you find your way in getting more information on Hannie Schaft and the sisters Truus and Freddie Oversteegen. Please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our facebook page or twitter.
Mpho Tutu van Furth, artist, author, inspirator and daughter of late Nobel Prize laureate Desmond Tutu, gave the Hannie Schaft Lecture 2022. The title of her lecture: Why? (and other questions we should never stop asking).
In her lecture Tutu van Furth took the hundreds of listeners to the source of her activism and her struggle for a more just world. Tutu van Furth reflected on the idealism and actions of Hannie Schaft and seamlessly connected this history to the world and challenges of this time. In doing so, she held up a mirror to us.
“I do not judge Hannie. She was a young woman in a war who made the best decision she felt she could in the circumstances in which she lived. I do judge the politicians and media people who make a cynical morality game of wars that they have made no effort to avert. And I do judge us, world citizens who so easily neglect their duties, to say ‘No’ and to ask ‘Why?’ (…)
“Do we dare to say ‘No’ to ravaging the planet with war, climate change or injustice? Do we dare to ask why generations yet unborn must live with the consequences of our actions, in the world we leave behind? We don’t have to have all the answers. We can admit “I don’t know. Let’s find solutions together.”
You can find the text of the the full lecture here.
During the celebrations of 100 years Hannie Schaft last November 29th the Deputy Prime Minister, Kajsa Ollongren, gave the annual lecture. In The grey tones of peacetime she says “Hannie fought for liberty and a society in which everyone has the right to participate. Her life teaches us that we must not look away from the fight against evil. We sometimes hear the expression: evil flourishes when good men do nothing. In that light, she is an inspiration to us all on the hundredth anniversary of her birth.”
You can find the text of the the full lecture here.
Today, 16 September 2020, we celebrate that Hannie Schaft (‘the red haired girl’), was born exactly 100 years ago.
The start of this special year – in which celebration prevails over commemoration – is marked by a video of 100 women, who salute Hannie around her statue in the Kenaupark in Haarlem, the Netherlands. Contemporary women connecting to the heritage of female empowerment. “Freedom is to be who you are, and to have the ability to do what you want, but not without listening to the other person’s opinion who shares the same freedom” said one of the participants.
This video stresses the importance and relevance of Hannie and her female comrades in our current unprecedented times.
The main celebration will take place on 29 November 2020. More details on that program will follow in autumn.
For an insight in international press attention as to Freddie Oversteegen please check here.
The book is written by Truus Menger – Oversteegen, who together with her sister Freddie Dekker -Oversteegen and the famous Girl with the Red Hair, Hannie Schaft were a formidable female trio of armed Resistance fighters. Their fellow companion in arms Hannie Schaft became the icon for female Resistance in the Netherlands.
This book describes their wartime Resistance experiences, without the heroic flavor. The ugly wartime seen through the eyes of young adults, teenagers that is, who rose beyond the occasion. Because they had to stand up against the terror and evil of the occupying forces.
The English version of the book by Truus is finally back in print. You can order by following these instructions:
1. Click on https://hannieschaft.nl/product/truus-menger-not-then-not-now-not-ever/
2. Select the red button ‘In winkelmand’
3. Select the red button ‘Winkelmand bekijken’
4. Select the red button ‘Doorgaan naar afrekenen’
5. Fill in the form ‘Afrekenen’
Translations: ‘Voornaam’=first name, ‘Achternaam’ = surname, ‘Bedrijfsnaam’(optional) = company namen, ‘Land/regio’=country, ‘Straat en huisnummer’ = address, ‘Plaats’ = City/Town,
Please note: ‘Land/regio’ : when ordering from the United States, select ‘Verenigde Staten (US), when ordering from the United Kingdom, select ‘Verenigd Koninkrijk (UK)
6. Check your order
7. Select preferred payment method
8. Follow payment instructions
On 25 November 2018 the annual Hannie Schaft Commemoration took place. In front of well over 400 people former Cabinet member and Groningen Mayor Professor Jacques Wallage held the “Hannie Schaft lecture”. In an impressive and personal plea he called upon everybody present to combat injustice and to draw a line stating “until here and not further”. In addition, he encouraged more compassion and adherence in our present day society.
In his opening statement our chairman addressed the recent passing away of Freddie Oversteegen, the last of the female armed resistance trio.
The gathering was accompanied by a whole musical entourage. Vera Stam played the flute, Sarah van den Akker played the harp, the Royal Men’s Choir from Haarlem called “Zang & Vriendschap” sang
“No man is an island”, a selection of the mini opera “Hannie & Gemma” – which will premiere in 2020, 100 years after Hannie Schaft was born – was performed. Last but not least Hesce Mourts played the cello and Zara le Clercq the piano. Several children read impressive poems. Wander Kenter, the grandson of Truus Menger-Oversteegen, spoke a few words on the need to resist, if only in the smallest form. This was the first commemoration without the Oversteegen sisters. Nevertheless, their families were present as usual.
After the service at the Church, a silent march was held towards “Kenaupark”. After a minute of silence to pay respect, the Dutch flag was hoisted and several wreaths were laid at the monument “Vrouw in Verzet” (Woman in Resistance). Among the people who laid wreaths were the mayors of both Haarlem and Bloemendaal, the National Hannie Schaft Foundation, representatives of the German city of Osnabrück, the British Violette Szabo Foundation, representatives of the Foundation for women’s concentration camp Ravensbrück and the “Gemma” sorority (of which Hannie was a member).
The commemoration was attended by people of all ages. Honorary Board member Paul Elsinga, former resistance fighters and a Dutch Canadian who had witnessed the reburial of Hannie Schaft in 1945 were among the people who were present. In short, we can look back at an impressive and successfull commemoration service. Truely inspired, our Foundation will continue its mission.
For more pictures of the Commemoration see here.
Picture credits: Ab van der Deure.