Mevr. Florentine Sophie
                       14 November 1914  —  24 March 2007
It was early September 1989.  As we sat at a picnic table beside
the Milwaukee River at a former campsite of the German-American
Volksbund outside the town of Grafton, Mrs. Rost van Tonningen
related the story of her life.                             
We had just come from the nearby USS Liberty Memorial Library
in that small Wisconsin town, which she wanted to visit to pay
tribute to the servicemen killed and wounded in the dastardly 1967
Israeli attack on the American vessel.  Earlier this remarkable woman
had spoken before a gathering at the NEW ORDER's Nordland site. 
"Vrouw" Rost van Tonningen was born Florentine Sophie Heubel
in Amsterdam, Holland, in 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World
War I, the third of four siblings.  Her father, who was of German-
Dutch parentage, was called to serve as an officer in the German
army.  Her mother, of Dutch-Frisian stock, was an artistically inclined
housewife, devoted to her children and her children. 
Despite the war and the absence of her father, young Florrie —
as she was called — had a happy early childhood, playing with the
swans, geese, chickens and two German shepherd dogs, who were
kept in the family garden.  It was here that she developed a lifelong
love of animals and the outdoor world. 
After her father's return from the war, the family moved to the
"Sunshine House" in Hilversum, an idyllic place, graced by art,
music, and many happy times with friends and relatives.  Going
to school, Florrie had good grades in German, but her favorite
subjects were biology and drawing.  Later she was sent to England
and Lausanne, Switzerland, to perfect her foreign language skills. 
In 1936 Florrie went to study marine and avian biology on Helgoland,
the legendary island in the North Sea, where the famous ethologist,
Prof. Konrad Lorenz, had set up his pioneering center for animal
behavior research.  This was followed by field study of wildlife in
the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) in 1938. 
While all of this was going on, the young Miss Heubel had a chance
to observe larger social and political events in Europe.  Of particular
interest was the rise of Hitler's party in Germany and that of a similar
movement in the Netherlands, the NSB — Nationaal-Socialistische
Beweging.  Along with her brother, Wim, Florrie became part of the
movement's youth branch, the Jeugdstorm.
After returning to Holland from the Far East, Florrie became active
in the work of the NSB, where she met her future husband,
Dr. Meinoud Rost van Tonningen, former assistant to the general
commissioner for the League of Nations in Vienna and leading
figure in the NSB after Anton Mussert.  In 1940 they were married. 
During the war years, Dr. Rost van Tonningen served as president of
the Bank of the Netherlands as well as unofficial advisor to Adolf Hitler
on European economic development.  At the end of 1944, he met with
Hitler in Wassenaar on the Dutch coast to discuss the deteriorating
military situation.  While there, the Führer took the occasion to present
Mrs. Rost van Tonningen with a special bouquet of white flowers. 
In March 1945, with so much at stake, Dr. Rost van Tonningen left his
position as bank president to serve at the front as a member of the
Waffen-SS.  Captured at the end of the war, he was brutally tortured
and murdered while in Canadian custody.  His remains were never
turned over to his wife, and so to this day the case remains under
official seal. 
Left with three small children, Florrie was not spared the cruel
indignities and hardships of the defeated.  But despite the most
horrendous abuse and mistreatment, she managed to pull her life
together again.  Forming a small company, she set about manufacturing
and marketing wind-powered drying machines for home use.  The
operation was a great success, eventually employing several dozen
The last decades of Florrie's life were devoted singlemindedly to
reviving the National Socialist cause.  In a small periodic bulletin,
De Levensboom
(The Tree of Life), she published numerous articles
in Dutch, German and English. 
She also hosted comradeship gatherings regularly at her home in Velp,
outside of Arnhem, as well as her later residence in Waasmunster,
Belgium.  She provided the venue for several conferences of the
World Union of National Socialists, including the one in 1992, where
the WUNS Convention was adopted, formalizing changes to the
reorganized WUNS structure. 
With the passing of Florentine Rose van Tonningen, there goes someone
who stood close to many of the events and leading personalities of
the 20th century, from heads of State, princes of the Church, scientists
and artists, heroes and scoundrels, those who fought for a New Order
and those who opposed it — from Prince Bernhard, Princess Juliana,
Engelbert Dollfuss, Pope Pius XII, Konrad Lorenz, Willem Mengelberg,
Winifred Wagner and Otto Skorzeny, to Anton Mussert, Arthur
Seyss-Inquart, H.A. Rauter, Alfred Rosenberg, Joseph Goebbels,
Rudolf Hess and Heinrich Himmler, not to mention the leading figure
of the age, Adolf Hitler.  She will be greatly missed by all who knew her. 
                                                                                              — Matt Koehl

 For a full account of Mrs. Rost van Tonningen's life, read her illustrated memoir,
Triumph and Tragedy, available postage paid for $25 ($29 non-US) from: 
NS Publications, PO Box 188, Wyandotte MI 48192.

Continuing the fight for a better world —

Dept E

PO Box
Milwaukee WI 53227


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