Anton van der Waals
- Category : 1912-births
- Type : MGP
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Split - Small (3,8,10,13,25,34,42,52)
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Penetration 3
Dutch spy for the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) who had more than eighty victims.
Antonius (Tom) van der Waals was the youngest child of Gerardus van der Waals (24 October 1875, R'dam - 21 March 1962, R'dam), a house painter and Adriana Wouterina Cranendonk (12 July 1868, Zevenbergen - 7 Dec 1945 Rotterdam). He had a brother Frans van der Waals (28 June 1897, R'dam – 22 March 1981, R'dam), sister Dirkje (Dit) van der Waals (22 March 1899, R'dam – ?) and two other brothers: Gerardus van der Waals (24 April 1900, R'dam - ?) and Johannes Cornelis van der Waals (29 October 1904, R'dam – 10 Jan 1990, Zwijndrecht). The father had temper tantrums and was in the winter unemployed. The family moved often in the neighbourhood, to get some cheaper rent. The mother earned money with sewing. Because of bad health of the mother and the hard hand of his father, his sister Dirkje cared for him.
At the primary school he was an anxious and often bullied child, staying sick at home often, playing with his meccano box or reading books. Nevertheless, he did relatively well at school and the family hoped that he would be as genial as the brother of his grandfather Frans van der Waals (18 April 1851, Leiden – 12 March 1928, Zwammerdam), who was the Noble Prize winner Johannes van der Waals. So he got a special position in the family and they considered him as Wunderkind.
After two years ULO secondary school, without obtaining diploma, he got a job a age 16 Stokvis as youngest clerk. He played with a radio receiver and motor bikes. At age 19 he was allowed to follow the technical Ambachtschool in Dordrect, but the results were poor and he left school in February 1932. During the crisis he helped his father, who was often ill. But he did not like the house painting work and did not dress like a house painter.
On 12 December 1934 he married the docile Francina (Francien) Goedhart (14 Sept 1914, R'dam - ?). She stopped working and Anton worked as a a painter or illegal mechanic, when being without work. He also got involved in criminal activities, and got and eventually slept with a gun and brass knuckles under the pillow. Francina asked her sister to find out what Anton was doing, and it turned out that he was a member of a National Socialistic (NSB) gang. Francien decided to leave him and divorced on 6 May 1936.
Anton moved several times for economic reasons, but also because he had enemies, and made an advertisement for a house maid. Johanna (Jopie) Hendrika Groos (5 March 1916, R'dam- ?), an orphan, applied and on 20 May 1936, he married her. On 14 February 1937 he got a new job as electrician at Electrotechnisch Bedrijf N.V. A. de Hoop. He had pimped his c.v. for this with certificates he never earned. Augustus 1937 Jopie got a son, but Anton refused to adopt the child. He believed that Jopie slept with other men. He even sent a mate to her to test her loyalty. She was loyal, but on 8 June 1939 they divorced.
On 8 November 1939 he married Aukje Grietje Harkina Smits (10 Jan 1911, Marum), the daughter of a sea captain. His sister Dit refused to come to the wedding. She felt that he treated women as house furniture: “Zo haal je er wel een dozijn”. He had told Aukje that he was only married once before for a few days. That he also had a son, she found out later that month. But unlike Anton, she cared for him when he was ill.
After the outbreak of WWII in September 1939, the harbour of Rotterdam became invaded with spies. Anton, who was not called to arms (unlike his elder brothers) dreamed about James Bond like secret agents with radio transmitters and illegal activities, for which there existed no laws. Anton learned some English and German when repairing submarines. After the German invasion of the Netherlands (10 May 1940), the rules of the game changed. On 14 May 1940 the open city of Rotterdam was bombarded. The Dutch capitulation followed soon, as the Germans threatened to bomb other cities like Utrecht.
Autumn 1940 Anton visited his Jewish director Lodewijk de Hoop showing him some inventions. It is unclear if the inventions involving radio technology were really his own, as the destroyed city of Rotterdam was also plundered. Using De Hoops firm name Anton tried to patent them. On 19 November 1940 the license agency refused his invention as not being new. He also tried to license other inventions, but without luck. He often did not come to work, and even deceived his boss, but De Hoop did not fire him, as he knew about his Nazi (NSB) sympathies and reputation.
On 24 February 1941 Anton went on sick leave, claiming work stress. When visited at home he was found in bed with a pistol in his hand. His father and De Hoop had their doubts, but Anton told his father that he worked for the resistance. Anton claimed to have invented a new motor engine that would help the RAF to win the war. Actually he had contacted the lawyer Otto Verdoorn (18 May 1904, Rotterdam - 6 June 1944, Natzweiler) for it. Via Verdoorn he came into contact with members of the resistance. Verdoorn was arrested in 1942 and died in the Nacht und Nebel of Natzwweiler concentration camp. Van der Waals also had contacts with the Germans. He showed his engine in Kiel to the German navy, but told the resistance members that his great invention should be brought to England.
On 24 April 1941 Van de Waals met several people involved in the Dutch resistance. At least five of them would be arrested soon. He also contacted with professor Richard Schoemaker (5 Oktober 1886 Roermond - 3 May 1942, Sachsenhausen) from the technical university of Delft. He had interest in the engine and invited him at home in Delft. Van der Waals claimed that he could produce radio transmitters and got some 1500 guilders for it.
Jan van den Ende (18 September 1922, Den Haag - 19 October 2008, Den Haag) a police officer who worked for the resistance was suspicious. People who had visited Van der Waals at his home had seen liquors, cigarettes, guns and illegal radio transmitters. He said of Anton Van der Waals showing of James Bond behaviour ”Als iedereen in de illegaliteit zo dom is als Van der Waals, kunnen we wel inpakken”. (If everybody of the resistance acts so stupid as Van der Waals, we better quit).
On 30 April 1941 Van der Waals was contacted to Joseph Schreieder (15 Augustus 1904, München - ?). Schreieder was involved in the counter intelligence operation North Pole or the Englandspiel. German forces captured and tortured Allied resistance agents operating in the Netherlands and used the agents' codes to fool the Allies into continuing to provide the agents with information and supplies. About 50 Allied agents were identified, captured, and executed. Schreieder was looking for a Vertrauensmann, Dutch people who were prepared to betray other people for money.
Anton became the worst Dutch traitor during WW2. Working as as a spy for the German Security Service (SD), he made some 83 victims and also played minor role in the Englandspiel that many Dutch secret agents from England has killed. See the list of events.
One remarkable aspect of his way of operating, was that he often was on the place where his victims were arrested. Sometimes he was arrested as well, to minimise suspicion. Because he was also on the death list of the resistance, the SD announced his death in De Telegraaf of 21 July 1943: Anton van der Waals killed on 19 July 1943 at 11 PM in Rotterdam. The SD offered a reward of 10,000 guilders for tips that would help to find the terrorists. But the Dutch police of Rotterdam had doubts, as no blood was found on the place verdict.
On 11 May 1941 Van der Waals was expelled from the Dutch National Socialist (NSB) party by Anton Mussert. Mussert hoped for a Dutch version of fascism and was not happy with Van der Waals alignment with the by almost all Dutch feared and hated German Sicherheitsdienst.
In August or September 1943 the SD sent him to Sweden. Via the neutral Sweden and Switzerland information about the German troops and fortresses on the Dutch coast was smuggled to London. The Allied forces had also dropped radio senders and radio operators in the Netherlands, but some fifty of them were found, arrested, killed or used in the counter-espionage operation Englandspiel.
Van der Waals changed name in baron Van Lynden and lived like a nobleman with the money of the SD in Sweden. He presented himself again as a Dutch resistance fighter and said he wanted to contact London to make arrangements of what and when to blow up German targets with nitroglycerin. He expected Schreieder to arrange this for him, but he could not convince both parties.
His biography was made by the historian Auke Kok: De verrader. Leven en dood van Anton van der Waals (Bezige Bij, Amsterdam, 2010).
The war novel "De donkere kamer van Damokles" (The Darkroom of Damocles, 1958) of the Dutch writer Willem Frederik Hermans, was inspired by Anton van der Waals.