Risk­ing it all for a loaf of bread

For­mer Dutch res­i­dent re­mem­bers close call with Nazi sol­dier

Central and North Burnett Times - - OVER 50S - Emily Smith emily.smith@cnbtimes.com.au

ED­DIE Mon­teau once got shot by a Nazi solider for steal­ing a loaf of bread.

“It was re­ally just a bul­let graze un­der my left armpit. It was all the adren­a­line that nearly killed me,” the Monto res­i­dent said, with a laugh.

Hunger and cold were daily bat­tles for Mr Mon­teau grow­ing up in Nazi-oc­cu­pied Hol­land.

“The Ger­mans were there from 1939-1945 and they were very mean; there was never enough food to eat and there was never any warmth even though it was -15 de­grees out­side,” he said.

So when a truck filled with Ger­man bread pulled up in front of him, lit­tle Ed­die Mon­teau wasted no time in climb­ing aboard and help­ing him­self to one of the loaves.

“I climbed up onto the truck, threw one of the loaves onto the ground, picked it up and ran away,” he said.

“But one of the of­fi­cers saw me; I don’t know how many times he shot at me but one of the bul­lets got my side.”

As the brave child con­tin­ued to run to home, he said his neigh­bour saw the trou­ble so picked him up, threw him in the cel­lar and piled things on top of him.

“We had a cur­few from 6pm un­til 6am,” Mr Mon­teau said.

“I stole the bread at 5.30pm and had to wait un­til 9pm to sneak off home.

“I didn’t eat any bread the whole time I was in the cel­lar, it was so hard, but I wanted to give the bread to my fam­ily.”

But af­ter risk­ing his neck for the bread, Mr Mon­teau said he was in big trou­ble when he got home.

“They were happy to have some­thing to eat though, all nine kids and my mother had a slice,” he said.

“It wasn’t very good, it was that sour Ger­man bread.”

Mr Mon­teau was al­ways the game one in the fam­ily, and said it was a trait he may have picked up from his fa­ther.

“He stole a chart that showed all the Ger­man guns, bunkers and in­stal­la­tions on a Dutch beach and gave it to the un­der­ground,” Mr Mon­teau said.

“He had a bounty of 15,000 guilders on his head af­ter that, which would be more than a mil­lion dol­lars to­day, but he es­caped to France and stayed there for six months.”

With the Ger­mans fi­nally leav­ing Hol­land when Mr Mon­teau was only 10-years-old, he al­ready had more ad­ven­tures most do in a life­time and he hadn’t even yet moved out to Aus­tralia.

PHOTO: EMILY SMITH

MANY STO­RIES FROM A YOUNG AGE

CLOSE CALL: Monto's Ed­die Mon­teau was shot for steal­ing a loaf of bread by a Ger­man sol­dier when he was a boy.

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