Agent for the Resistance: A Belgian Saboteur in World War II

Agent for the Resistance: A Belgian Saboteur in World War II

Agent for the Resistance: A Belgian Saboteur in World War II

Agent for the Resistance: A Belgian Saboteur in World War II

Synopsis

This dramatic memoir traces Herman Bodson's transformation from a pacifist and scientist to, in his own words, "a cold fighter and a killer" in the Belgian underground, an expert in explosives and sabotage. Serving first in the OMBR (Office Militaire Belge de Resistance), he later formed a group of underground fighters in the Belgian Ardennes. They undertook blowing up military trains and installations - including the sabotage of a bridge which resulted in the deaths of some six hundred German soldiers - cutting German communication lines, and rescuing downed American fliers. Bodson also served as a medical aide to an American military doctor at Bastogne in the crucial days of the Battle of the Bulge.

Excerpt

Some forty years after the events I am about to relate, I started to write an autobiography for my children. This first writing has now evolved into an autobiographical account of one period of my life, the years 1932 to 1945-- the war in Europe. At first I wondered how I could possibly remember so many events, so many dates, so many minute details. It was an interesting retrieving process. It did not occur simply, but was a long and often painful search that has taken me four years to complete.

The process started with some vivid images, very precise scenes shrouded in the mist of long ago. the chronology was there, exact sequences, but without reference. While writing, I felt the need for accuracy and read intensely on war history, making notes of all that related to our fight. From there came dates, places, even times of actions on which I could rely. I organized my memories and put them in context. I separated the now historically known facts from what I did not know at the time. Throughout the process, my memory freed details I could not at first remember, details hidden in some dark and sealed niches of my brain.

Some events which I remembered well I did not at first write down, as I voluntarily suppressed them from my recollections as being too tragic or too cruel to be passed along. I came later to recognize this as dishonest, vis-à- vis myself and potential readers. the story did not represent my involvement but some other, more likeable fellow's. By refusing to convey some images of my past, I camouflaged the real me and my story fell short on veracity. At that point I made the decision to acknowledge the unpleasant aspects of my life as I was propelled by historical events into action. I came to realize that for all these years since the end of World War ii, I had tried to obliterate . . .

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