Op eigen gezag Politieverzet in oorlogstijd
They were called ‘Moffenknechten’ (collaborators), the policemen who intervened in a protest in the centre of Amsterdam in December 1945, well after the end of the war. The shouts of ‘Sieg Heil!’ echoed across Leidseplein, a clear indication that the image of the Dutch police had sustained huge damage during the war. Even in the decades that followed, the idea that the police had been collaborators proved hard to eradicate. However, many police officers played an active role in the resistance; there were more than we give them credit for. Not always by heroically raising their fists and saying a principled ‘no’ to German measures, but often by inconspicuous actions that saved lives - a whispered word, an averted eye, or a door left unlocked.
Op eigen gezag is a book about police officers who, each in their own way, guarded their moral boundaries and sought their way in the awkward split between institutional collaboration and personal resistance.