Risking it all for a loaf of bread
Former Dutch resident remembers close call with Nazi soldier
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.
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.