A World War II heroine who used her harmless appearance to gain the trust of Nazis before executing them has died in The Netherlands, aged 92.

Freddie Oversteegen was born in Haarlem, near Amsterdam on September 6, 1925 and raised by her communist mother.

She was just 14 when she joined the Dutch resistance, the Daily Mail reports.

Together with her older sister Truus and their friend Hannie Schaft, she blew up bridges and railway tracks with dynamite, smuggled Jewish children out of concentration camps and executed as many Nazis as she could, using a firearm hidden in the basket of her bike.


The trio had a routine: first approach the Nazi men in bars, and, having successfully seduced them, ask if they wanted to 'go for a stroll' in the forest, where, as Freddie herself put it, they would be 'liquidated'.

"We had to do it," she told one interviewer. "It was a necessary evil, killing those who betrayed the good people." When asked how many people she had killed or helped kill, she demurred: "One should not ask a soldier any of that."

Freddie died on September 5 - one day before her 93rd birthday. She was the last surviving member of the Netherlands' most famous female resistance cell, who dedicated their lives to fighting Nazi occupiers and Dutch "traitors" just outside Amsterdam.

Freddie Oversteegen, Dutch resistance fighter who killed Nazis through seduction, has died at 92. Photo / National Hannie Schaft Foundation
Freddie Oversteegen, Dutch resistance fighter who killed Nazis through seduction, has died at 92. Photo / National Hannie Schaft Foundation

The female members of the Dutch resistance are often overlooked, and it was and still is often thought of as a man's effort.

However, this kind of thinking proved to be a fatal mistake to many Nazi men, who did not recognise the threat posed by the Oversteegen sisters as they rode their bikes around Haarlem in North Holland, scouting out targets or acting as lookouts for other executions.

Both Oversteegen sisters survived the war. Truus found work as an artist, and was inspired to write a memoir and based on her experiences in the resistance. She died in 2016.

Freddie told Vice that she coped with the traumas of the war "by getting married and having babies".

She married Jan Dekker and their three children survive her, as do her four grandchildren.


However, their friend Hannie Schaft, a onetime law student with fiery red hair, was captured and executed by the Nazis just weeks before they surrendered.

In her honour, Truus Oversteegen founded the National Hannie Schaft Foundation in 1996. Freddie served as a board member.

"Schaft became the national icon of female resistance," said Jeroen Pliester, the foundation's chairman. Her story was taught to Dutch children and retold in a 1981 film, "The Girl With the Red Hair".

To the sisters, being in the resistance was a source of pride - they would never regret it - but also of pain.

"It was tragic and very difficult and we cried about it afterwards," Truus said, about the feeling of having killed somebody. "We did not feel it suited us — it never suits anybody, unless they are real criminals.

"One loses everything. It poisons the beautiful things in life."


The Dutch newspaper IJmuider Courant, reported that Freddie once told an interviewer: "I've shot a gun myself and I've seen them fall. And what is inside us at such a moment? You want to help them get up."

In recent years, Freddie had suffered from several heart attacks at the nursing home in Driehuis where she lived - about five miles outside Haarlem.