It was 1943. Jon Lippens had just turned 16 and was trying to evade the Germans’ drafting of young Belgian men into the German army and sent to the Russian front.
He had been interrogated for three days by the Belgian Resistance (the FFI) group run by ”Major Jim.” If he were accepted, they would help him hide from the Nazis. The final test would come that night. He was given a rifle and led with other FFI members to a basement. He had been warned that he would be expected to obey an order that might be difficult for him to execute.
In the basement he stood shoulder to shoulder with nine other men holding rifles. Three “collaborators” were stood with their backs against the stone wall.
“Ready, aim, fire.” There was a roar of guns. All three traitors were shot to death and left bleeding in the darkness.
This was the justice necessary by resistance groups all over Europe. They had no prison to lock up those working with the German occupiers, so their only choi9e was to kill them. A tough choice for a young man. His hatred of the Nazis and their brutality helped.