- Category : 1912-births
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 5/1 - Heretical / Investigator
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : LAX Wishes 2
Dutch double agent during WW2, working under British, German and possible Russian control.
Christiaan was the fourth son of Joseph Hendrik Lindemans (23 December 1879, Rotterdam - 2 April 1960, Rotterdam) and Christina Antonia van Uden (10 September 1881, Rotterdam - 17 December 1944, Rotterdam). They married 18 September 1901 in Rotterdam. His brothers were Jan Hendrik (12 June 1904, Rotterdam - 2 December 1951, Rotterdam), Joseph Hendrik (18 July 1905, Rotterdam - ) and Hendrik "Henk" Lindemans (7 April 1915, Rotterdam - )
His father was a fortunate garage owner, he could allow his children both to study and to enjoy sports and cinema. Chris followed first the Higher Civil School, but he could not finish this preparing him for University study. But he learned to speak foreign languages. In 1929 he got his diploma as a car mechanic at the more practical oriented Ambachtschool.
He worked with his brother Jan Hendrik as a mechanic at his father's garage in Rotterdam. He enjoyed risky sports like boxing , gliding and car driving. As he was tall and risk seeking, his nickname became King Kong. In the summer of 1936 (Wiki, 1934 according to his KNAW biographer), he was injured in a motorcycle accident sustaining a cracked skull and injuries to his left arm and leg which left him walking with a lumbering, simian-like, gait.
After the outbreak of WWII in September 1939, the harbour of Rotterdam became invaded with spies. Like Anton van der Waals (both had elder brothers), the crippled Kin Kong was not called to arms, but enjoyed the pub stories about James Bond like secret agents for which there existed no laws.
Lindemans started to work as an informant for the British secrets service since the spring of 1940, relaying shipping movements to London. August 1940, he found work as lorry driver on the Lille to Paris route carrying petrol for the German air forces. In Lille he met his wife Gilberte Letuppe (15-9-1922, misspelled as Sindemans in Neurenberg trials), who brought him into contact with the French resistance. They married 23 August 1941 for the church.
In September 1942, Lindemans established his own escape line in Abbeville, transporting refugees through occupied Belgium into Spain and Portugal. November 1942, he was arrested after being denounced by a woman living in Paris, an acquaintance named Colette. He was imprisoned by the Germans for five months, being the only one of his organization to be detained.
After his release in 1943, Lindemans served as a contact man for resistance movements, some with Communist tendencies such as the RVV (Raad van Verzet or Council of Resistance, being engaged in both communications sabotage and protection of people in hiding), the CS VI group of Amsterdam (a clandestine sabotage and intelligence organisation) the illegal papers Trouw (Fidelity) and Het Parool (The spoken Word), the Dutch-Paris escape line run by John Henry Weidner and for evasion networks within the jurisdiction of the British MI9. Lindemans was also a member of the Belgian underground army called Les Affranchis (The Liberate,founded by Camille Tromme), allowing him to remain in possession of a machine gun and a revolver. As "le Tueur" (the Killer), he undertook missions to kill and was ready to shoot at the slightest provocation.
Both feared and admired, he became one of the leaders of the Dutch resistance. He had begun collecting jewels and other valuables from rich women to provide fighting funds for the underground "escape route" through occupied Belgium and the Netherlands into Spain and Portugal. But he took also another identity, that of Freddi Desmet, an officer in the Belgian army and Special Operations Executive (SOE) agent with security clearance at the Dutch Military Intelligence Division of the SOE (MID/SOE).
Around February 1944, his younger brother Henk was arrested in Rotterdam by the Sicherheitspolizei and held captive at The Hague, awaiting execution for helping English people to escape from the Netherlands. On 24 February 1944 his then 3 months pregnant wife Gilberte Letuppe was arrested in Paris. They searched her bag and her room and found three ID cards, some Kommandantur signatures, pass and some German employment permits, all stolen the previous day, in addition to the items discovered, three revolvers and a box of ammunition, all to be hand over to a French resistance movement in Bordeaux (Lindemans was there at the time of his wife's arrest).
Letuppe was taken prisoner and interrogated for eleven hours that day, she was beating with such force in the face, she fell from her chair but she refused to speak. She was therefore taken to Fresnes Prison, south of Paris where she was jailed, manacled hand and foot with no food and water or a bed for four days. She was questioned violently a couple of times (twenty-four), beaten in the face at each occasions. Because of her mutism, she spend the next six months in Solitary confinement.
She was admitted to Fort de Romainville, a stop before deportation. Her file numbered 6 862 described her being born on 15 September 1922 and nine months pregnant. But, instead, being among the prisoners aboard the last convoy (15 August 1944) of deportees from Paris (quai des bestiaux, gare de Pantin) to Germany and alike some of her fellow inmates who were considered unfit for transportation, she was evacuated from the Fort of Romainville on 17 August to a local Hospice in Saint-Denis where she gave birth on 25 August to her second child, a daughter named Christianne.
By March 1944, Lindemans was able to initiate contact with Abwehr operatives in Brussels, due to his inability to pay 10,000 Florins asked by the first intermediary agent in exchange for their freedom. Lindemans agreed to meet Dr. Gerhard sometimes called Dr. German (pseudonym for Hermann Giskes (28 Sept 1896, Krefeld - 28 August 1977, Krefeld) who had run the successful Operation North Pole and who could speak perfectly English without a trace of German accent) in a villa outside Brussels and agreed to become a double agent on condition that his wife and brother were released. His brother Henk Lindemans was released in due course and went as a voluntary worker to Germany where he had some relations.
In this role as SOE agent Freddi Desmet, Lindemans is blamed for betraying the plans of Operation Market Garden around Arnhem. The lost Battle of Arnhem prolonged the war by 6 months and changed post-war Germany, as it allowed the Russian Red Army to enter Berlin first. But according to the MI5 (Military Intelligence, Section 5) archives, he had told the Germans that Eindhoven, not Arnhem, was the goal of the attack.
In the night of 14-15 September 1944, Lindemans was sent to the Dutch resistance to prepare them on the coming attack. The Dutch resistance could play a role in sabotaging German troops and guiding British troops that were dropped after front the lines. But instead he went to the German Abwehr in Driebergen.
After the liberation of Eindhoven, he was celebrated as a resistance fighter, but on 28 October 1944 he was arrested being suspected of having betrayed Operation Market Garden.
He was returned to Dutch custody (7 December 1944) and jailed in Breda Prison up to March 1945 and in Scheveningen until summer 1946, held under sentence of death by the Dutch government, for treachery during the war. Before his trial, he committed suicide with the help of the nurse Tine Onderdelinden, a youth friend who had fallen in love with him. On 18 July 1946 they took a large dose of the sleeping drug Luminal. The nurse with the Germman name Unter den Linden was rescued in hospital, but Lindemans (linden trees man) was not. He died that same day.
After the war speculations started about the betrayal of Arnhem. The lost battle influenced the chart of Europe, as it allowed the Russian troops to reach Berlin first. The prolongation of WW2 with six months caused some twenty thousands of casualties during the Dutch famine of 1944–45, and probably hundred of thousands lifes more under the underfed forced labourers and prisoners that were kept hostage in Nazi Germany factories and concentration camps.
"Krist, as he was called by his comrades, had worked for the Allies with great bravery, being personally responsible for the death of at least of twenty-seven Germans during the guerilla war in the outskirts of Antwerp. A natural risk-taker, he didn't know the meaning of fear; unfortunately neither did he know the meaning of loyalty" writes the Wikipedia. But it is also clear that the boundaries between good and evil were blurred during WW2.