Allied pilots shot down over the Netherlands and captured by the resistance, Dutch resistance fighters who were no longer able to stay in our country and allied soldiers who escaped from German camps, were taken across the Belgian border through so-called escape lines. This was extremely risky resistance work because death penalty was the punishment for helping allied soldiers. Yet there were Dutch men and women who were committed to this cause.
Johanna Maria (Joke) Folmer (July 9th, 1923) was one of them. At the age of 18 she started with resistance work and during the war she helped over 300 men (among them 120 pilots) to escape. After her arrest, in July 1944, she was sentenced to death, because of her involvement in the ďpilot rescueĒ. Miraculously, she escaped execution and survived the war. She received several high national and international awards for her actions.