23 September 1923|
|Died||21 June 1987
|Years of service||1941–1945|
|Battles/wars||World War II|
|Awards||Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross|
Gerardus Mooyman was born in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. He grew up in a very pro-German household. His father was a small time retailer whose business suffered greatly during the great depression, resulting in his joining of the NSB in hope of a better future. Mooyman spent his youth hearing stories about the triumphs of Hitler and Nazi Germany and admiring the German victories across Europe.
His father wanted Mooyman to work in the family business but he preferred a military career, so in 1941 he volunteered to serve in the 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Netherlands, and was sent to the eastern front as an anti tank gun commander. In the battle at Lake Ladoga he destroyed 13 tanks, for this action he was the first non-German to be awarded the Knight's Cross. By the end of his service on the front he was credited with destroying 23 Soviet tanks.
As the first non-German to be awarded the Knight's Cross, Nazi propaganda widely published his story in newspapers and magazines. He was congratulated personally by Himmler and had to attend dozens of receptions, parties and parades. He was illustrated as an example to the Dutch youth.
By the end of the war Mooyman rose to the rank of SS-Untersturmführer (Second Lieutenant). He was arrested at Bodegraven in March 1946, put on trial in 1947 and charged with active military collaboration for his service in the Waffen-SS. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison.
Mooyman did not carry on any political activities in his later years, being somewhat disillusioned with post-war Netherlands and her loss of empire.
Mooyman was released after 3 years in prison, after which he moved to Hoogkerk where he became the owner of a paper-hanging business and the secretary of local football club. He was married and had one daughter.
Gerardus Mooyman died in a car accident in 1987.
- Iron Cross, Second Class
- Iron Cross, First Class
- Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 20 February 1943 as Sturmmann and gun leader in the 14./SS-Freiwilligen-Legion "Nederland"
- Black Wound Badge
- Infantry Assault Badge in Bronze
- Eastern Front Medal
- Fellgiebel 2000, p. 315.
- Fellgiebel, Walther-Peer (2000). Die Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939–1945 – Die Inhaber der höchsten Auszeichnung des Zweiten Weltkrieges aller Wehrmachtsteile [The Bearers of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939–1945 — The Owners of the Highest Award of the Second World War of all Wehrmacht Branches] (in German). Friedberg, Germany: Podzun-Pallas. ISBN 978-3-7909-0284-6.
- Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 The Holders of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross 1939 by Army, Air Force, Navy, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm and Allied Forces with Germany According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Miltaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2.
- External links
- Interview with Gerardus Mooyman from the Dutch REVU magazine.