she came across a Nazi killing an infant by repeatedly swinging its
tiny body against a brick wall, Truus Oversteegen didn’t flinch.
The freckle-faced teenager, who was just three months shy of her 17th
birthday when Germany invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, was a
newly minted member of the Dutch resistance. She had been mostly
assigned to hide Jewish children, political dissidents and
homosexuals in various safe houses throughout Haarlem, her hometown,
which was about 12 miles west of Amsterdam. But what she saw now
forced her to act with a sudden, brutal energy. “He grabbed the
baby and hit it against the wall,” Truus recalled years later of
the horrifying scene. “The father and sister had to watch. They
were obviously hysterical. The child was dead.” Truus quietly
pointed her gun in the direction of the Nazi and shot him dead.
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