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Yolande Beekman file photo [23191]

Yolande Beekman

Given NameYolande
Born7 Nov 1911
Died13 Sep 1944
CountryUnited Kingdom


ww2dbaseYolande Elsa Maria Unternahrer was born in Paris, France into a Swiss family. Her family moved to London, England, United Kingdom when she was young, thus allowing her to learn English fluently, adding to her repertoire of French and German. She joined the British Women's Auxiliary Air Force when WW2 began and was trained as a wireless operator, which, combined with her language skills, made her a good candidate for infiltration into German-occupied France. Unternahrer joined the Special Operations Executive (SOE) in Feb 1943. Later in that year, she married Sergeant Jaap Beekman of the Dutch Army and changed her surname to that of her husband's. She was sent into France during the night of 17 to 18 Sep 1943 via a Lysander aircraft of No. 161 (Special Duties) Squadron of the British Royal Air Force. She joined the "Musician" network at Saint-Quentin, France under the command of Gustave Biéler, operating under the codename of "Mariette" and the alias of "Yvonne". In addition to operating the radio, she also helped with the distribution of materials dropped by Allied aircraft. She was arrested by German Gestapo agents at a cafe called Café Moulin Brulé in Jan 1944. She was subsequently transferred to the Fresnes prison in Paris, a prison in Karlsruhe in Germany, and finally the Dachau Concentration Camp in southern Germany. She was tortured for information in each of the places of imprisonment, but according to survivors who had met her, Beekman never gave in. She was executed by gunfire through the back of the head in a courtyard at Dachau on 13 Sep 1944. Her body was cremated and the ashes scattered. She was awarded the French Croix de Guerre posthumously.

ww2dbaseSource: Wikipedia

Last Major Revision: Jun 2015

Yolande Beekman Interactive Map

Yolande Beekman Timeline

7 Nov 1911 Yolande Unternahrer was born in Paris, France.
15 Feb 1943 Yolande Unternahrer joined the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).
17 Sep 1943 Yolande Beekman departed Britain in a Lysander aircraft.
18 Sep 1943 Yolande Beekman was delivered into German-occupied France via a Lysander aircraft before dawn.
13 Jan 1944 Yolande Beekman was captured by German Gestapo agents in France.
12 Sep 1944 Yolande Beekman was transferred out of her prison in Karlsruhe, Germany.
12 Sep 1944 Yolande Beekman arrived at Dauchau Concentration Camp in southern Germany.
13 Sep 1944 Yolande Beekman was executed at Dachau Concentration Camp in southern Germany.

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