As I am building a digital monument for the Dutch resistance during WW 2, I have been working for the last past 11 months on a project concerning the illegal press. No matter how big or how small the setup was organised, all of these people undertook the same risk of being caught and executed or deported to the east of Europe.
Professional print shops produced their illegal papers in between every day orders. Others had to improvise their own printing machines and created alternative energy sources in order to listen to 'Radio Orange' based in London, making them able to report on the status on the front lines and other worldly news.
The people who were involved were by example plumbers, farmers, civil servants, housewives, sons and daughters etc. being involved in the process from news gathering, printing, to distributing from door to door.
Some resistance groups were religiously orientated, others totally the opposite and many political visions that got in between. In the organising business their were absolutely overlaps everywhere, all of the time. In some cases where the ideals and goals were shared, they decided to join forces. All together the newspapers shared their anti sympathy for the occupiers.
Sharing the same goals with different points of view created a day job for the Germans to undermine and completely shut down this kind of resistance. The illegal press were spread all over the country, from cities to even the smallest towns. This was not done purposely, but it was most effective in order to prevent being shut down completely. This way the illegal printing managed to keep on getting out there to be shared amongst the oppressed Dutch citizens.
If I compare the political climate, and the resistance work being done. I see lots of similarities on Twitter today where people are fighting Brexit, fighting for a final say in the final deal for ALL British people in Britain and Europe, I do not see much of a difference. The populism is a popular good in many countries these days, all over the world. In the thirties and forties of the 20th century the situation was totally similar. And now we see that this same old sentiment hasn’t died at all, it just woken up again. It was always there, it never left us really.
If I would filter out a lessons that could be learned from this past, it would be like this:
Share your thoughts and ideas, unite yourselves in groups of interest and political views and strategy. Work together! Combine forces! Each within it’s own strength. Where views are shared completely, merge with each other. Where they are not, keep on fighting side by side. With this formula it makes it fairly impossible to be beaten down, separated or even terminated completely.
And above all...
NEVER EVER GIVE UP THE FIGHT FOR WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN!