A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 11: Hunting Time

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I did not know it then but there must have been a season for hunting.

In the fall, it was a recurring affair. The only person, however, you ever saw walking around with a shotgun was the mayor (burgemeester) and some high class friends of his. His name was de Beaufort or something, a deserter or leftover from the French occupation at the time of Napoleon in the early 1800s. He lived in the estate called "Heiligenberg" meaning Holy Mountain.

Mayor was a job for life being appointed by the government. You never heard of the guy. He probably figured it's better not to rock the boat - that way you wouldn't take on any water and sink. Well, he was right, he never did anything good, he never did anything bad; he agreed with everything even during the war and kept his job until he retired.

But at hunting time, he came alive. For that event, he hired a bunch of drivers who had to chase the quary to a certain spot where he was waiting to blast them. To get there, he was chauffeur driven in a big black sedan. To make the safari complete, there was a specially built wagon (jagt wagen) with meathooks, or whatever they called them, all along both sides. Then, if they shot something like a hare or pheasant, they were strung up on the hooks.

They had two reasons for doing that. One, to drain the blood and two, the most important, to show the population what good hunters they were. Jan Duinsbergen, the most important horseman freight hauler of the time, was hired to drive the jagt wagen that day. This of course was a big honor as well as a good day's pay.

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