Walraven van Hall

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Walraven van Hall
Verzetsheld W. van Hall.jpg
Memorial at Gouda
Born (1906-02-10)10 February 1906
Amsterdam
Died 12 February 1945(1945-02-12) (aged 39)
Haarlem
Nationality Dutch
Other names Banker to the Resistance, Barends, "oom Piet", "de Olieman", Van Tuyl
Occupation Banker

Walraven (Wally) van Hall (10 February 1906 – 12 February 1945) was a Dutch banker and resistance leader during the occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.[1][2]

Biography[edit]

Born into an influential Dutch family, van Hall initially studied to become an officer in the merchant marine, but after having worked for some years as third mate he was rejected because of his eyesight. Unable to work in the merchant marine, he moved to New York City in 1929. His brother, the future mayor of Amsterdam Gijs van Hall, who already worked at a bank, helped him get a job with a Wall Street firm. Having thus been introduced to banking, van Hall returned to the Netherlands and became a banker and stockbroker.

After the Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940, a fund was established to help families of merchant-sailors (who were stranded abroad when war broke out). Van Hall was asked to help set up the Amsterdam chapter together with his brother Gijs. Because of his banking experience, van Hall was able to provide funding with the help of guarantees by the Dutch government in London. Soon thereafter, the Germans began taking anti-Jewish and forced labour measures, and resistance against these measures increased. Van Hall expanded his fund-raising activities for all kinds of resistance groups, and he became known as the banker to the resistance.[3]

One of the ways in which van Hall raised funds for the resistance was the "robbing" of the De Nederlandsche Bank (Dutch National Bank). With the approval of the Dutch government-in-exile, the van Halls managed to obtain as much as 50 million Dutch guilders. According to Nout Wellink, president of the bank in 2010, this figure is comparable to half a billion Euros nowadays.[citation needed] Together with his brother, van Hall falsified bank bonds and exchanged them in the bank for the real bonds. With these, paper money was collected. This was done behind the back of Rost van Tonningen, president of the bank and a notorious member of the Dutch Nazi party National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB).

Another way of collecting money was borrowing from wealthy Dutch people. As a proof of their investments, they received a worthless old stock, but after the war they could get their money back in exchange for the stock paper.

In 1944, Walraven was the leader of the NSF (National Support Fund); he was also the coordinator of the Kern ("Nucleus") and the Driehoek ("Triangle"), a cooperation of various Dutch resistance groups. The NSF supported a variety of resistance groups and underground papers like Het Parool , Trouw, and Vrij Nederland.

Nicknames[edit]

Besides being called the banker to the resistance,[4] Walraven had various additional nicknames in the resistance movement. For example, he was called the Olieman (The Oilman) for his abilities to lubricate the friction between resistance groups, as well as Barends, Oom Piet (Uncle Pete), and Van Tuyl.[citation needed]

Courier[edit]

His personal courier was Hanneke Ippisch, author of the book Sky: a True Story of Courage during World War II.[5][6]. Her job was to find a safe meeting place every Friday for the resistance leaders.[citation needed]

Arrest[edit]

On 27 January 1945, the meeting place was given away by a member of the resistance who had been arrested the day before and who wrongly believed the members of the meeting would know he had been arrested and wouldn't attend the meeting. Although the Germans had a vague idea there had to be somebody who coordinated the finances for the resistance, they never found out it was van Hall. In January 1945, Teus van Vliet (nl), a founding member of the Dutch resistance, was betrayed by the Dutch collaborator Johan van Lom. Van Vliet broke under interrogation and, as a result, the Germans were led to several leading members of the resistance, including van Hall.[7]

Execution and burial[edit]

Van Hall was subsequently executed in Haarlem as revenge for the death of a high-ranking police officer. After the war, he was buried in Overveen in the Erebegraafplaats Bloemendaal (Honorary Cemetery).[citation needed]

Honorable distinctions[edit]

Van Hall was posthumously awarded by the Dutch government with the Dutch Cross of Resistance (Verzetskruis).[citation needed] The United States awarded him with the Medal of Freedom with Gold Palm.[citation needed]. Israel recognized him as "Righteous Among The Nations" in 1978 for supporting and funding for between 800 and 900 Jews in hiding during the war.[8]

In honor of his deeds in the resistance, a monument was erected in the fall of 2010 near the Nederlandsche Bank at the Frederiksplein in Amsterdam.[citation needed]

In media[edit]

The Resistance Banker (Bankier van het Verzet), directed by Joram Lürsen and starring Barry Atsma as van Hall, is a 2018 Dutch World War II period drama film[9] based on van Hall's work to finance the Dutch resistance during the Second World War.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "HALL, Walraven van (1906-1945)". Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland (in Dutch). 
  2. ^ Welgraven, Co. "Walraven van Hall (1906-1945). Bankier van het verzet". Historisch Nieuwsblad (in Dutch). 
  3. ^ "Wally van Hall (1906 - 1945): Banker to the Resistance". Verzets Museum. 
  4. ^ "Wally van Hall (1906 - 1945): Banker to the Resistance". Verzets Museum. 
  5. ^ "Sky: a True Story of Courage during World War II by Hanneke Ippisch". thechildrenswar.blogspot.com. 8 September 2011. 
  6. ^ Chaney, Rob (21 May 2012). "Western Montana Lives: Hanneke Ippisch – From a teenage Dutch spy to creator of ornaments". Missoulian. Retrieved 15 August 2015. 
  7. ^ Botje, Harm Ede; Schaap, Erik (30 December 2013). "De verrader en het meisje". Vrij Nederland (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 July 2015. 
  8. ^ "Hall van FAMILY". db.yadvashem.org. Retrieved 2018-09-21. 
  9. ^ "Golden Film for The Resistance Banker". NL Film. Retrieved 21 July 2018. 
  10. ^ Wilson, Jonathon (September 12, 2018). "Film Review: 'The Resistance Banker'". RSC!. 

External links[edit]