A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 88: Looking Back

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When I look back over what I have written so far, there are many instances or events that took place before and during the war, which come to mind now, and are worth reporting.

In 1944, the last full year of occupation, I had taken a PUCH motor cycle out of my hiding place in order to clean and grease the vital parts to stop it from rusting. All of a sudden, two German soldiers came around the corner and spied the bike. One got his rifle ready and the other took over possession of the PUCH. They probably recognized it as one made in their country, and knew what to do with it. I protested heavily and would not let it go. All I got in return was a rifle pointed at my stomach. I was hungry that last year but not so much that I wanted a bullet for payment.

The next day, I did a very brave or rather a very stupid thing. I went to the ORTH COMMANDANT, who was the supreme commander in the district. I talked to a girl and told her two men took my motorcycle without authorization and no papers to prove it was legal. In other words, they stole my bike. She wrote everything down and told me to come back the next day. Well, the next day came, but I did not go back. When I thought of what I had done - complaining - man, I was lucky to get out without a scratch. That of course was the last of the PUCH.

I had many motorcycles over the years: among others there were a DOUGLAS, a FN, a DKW, a ZUNDAP, an OK SUPREME and the last one was a 1923 HARLEY DAVIDSON. We also cleaned German Army motor bikes that we had confiscated from them when they weren't looking. In our chicken coop, which was empty, (the chickens had been eaten), we totally dismantled those machines. We then scraped every bit of paint off and they emerged looking as a reborn civilian product.

Related resources:

Puch from Wikipedia.

Puch logo image from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puch
Photo of Puch 500VL
by Georg Liebetrau Maixdorff, 28 September 2005

Douglas motorcycles from Wikipedia.

Doris Turnbull on her 2.75hp Douglas TT 1923
Photo of Doris Turnbull
on her 2.75hp Douglas TT 1923
by Duncanogi at en.wikipedia

FN motorcycle from Wikipedia.

Fn-1913 from //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/36/Fn-1913.jpg
Photo of FN-1913 motorcycle
by Jeff Dean
via Wikimedia Commons

DKW motorcycles from Wikipedia.

DKW 192X from //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/14/DKW_192X.jpg
Photo of DKW 192X
by Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden
via Wikimedia Commons

Zü ndapp from Wikipedia.

Zundapp KS 500 1934
Photo of Zü ndapp KS 500 1934
from Yesterdays Antique Motorcycles en Classic Motorcycle Archive
via Wikimedia Commons

OK-Supreme from Wikipedia.

Ok Supreme 500 cc 1930 from //upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/10/Ok_Supreme_500_cc_1930.jpg
Photo of Ok Supreme 500 cc 1930
from Yesterdays Antique Motorcycles en Classic Motorcycle Archive
via Wikimedia Commons

Harley-Davidson 1920s from Wikipedia.

Harley-Davidson 1000 cc HT 1923
Photo of Harley-Davidson_1000_cc_HT_1923.jpg
by Lars-Göran Lindgren Sweden
via Wikimedia Commons
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