Four ‘Engelandvaarders’ (Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, Chris Krediet, Peter Tazalaar and Bob van der Stok) stood at the foundation of ‘Contact Holland’ which began as an attempt to improve communication between the Dutch resistance and ‘London’. Communication had been difficult during the first years of the war and resistance in the Netherlands was lacking targeted instructions from London in order to contribute to undermining the German occupying force with their resistance activities.
A plan was created that entailed training especially Engelandvaarders in England to return to the Netherlands as secret agents, armed and instructed to contact the local resistance, and equipped with Morse code equipment to keep in contact with London. This went well at first, but in the spring in 1942 a number of agents got arrested. The biggest traitor of the Netherlands during World War II, Anton van der Waals, played an important role. The agents were imprisoned and forced to keep communicating with England, the ‘Englandspiel’, except with messages drafted by the Germans. The Brits did not notice that the agents were communicating with them from prison, or perhaps they did know – but pretended not to – and kept sending secret agents who kept getting caught by the Germans as soon as they arrived in the Netherlands.
By the end of the war, most secret agents were deported from the Netherlands. 54 of them did not survive this Englandspiel, most of them were murdered in Mauthausen concentration camp.