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Letter from WWII Dutch resistance fighter delivered to family 72 years later

The family of a Dutch resistance fighter killed during the war received his farewell letter only now. One family member described the discovery as "extremely emotional."

Toward the end of World War II, Dutch resistance fighter Peter Will wrote a letter to his family before being deported to a concentration camp by his Nazi captors in 1944. He eventually died there during the last days of the war.

That same letter was recently found when a family friend spotted the pitcture of a wallet belonging to Will in an online archive. Will's other personal belongings - his bible, wedding ring and pen - had been returned to his surviving family members in 1949, but his wallet, which also contained photographs, was matched with the wrong person's name at the time.

The wallet eventually fell into the hands of the International Tracing Service (ITS), which archives information on Nazi victims, which helped to deliver the wallet with the letter to its rightful recipients seven decades later.

'Always in our thoughts'

One of Peter's sons, Joop Will, said in an interview with the AFP news agency that it was an "extremely emotional" discovery for the family. "This isn't something you expect any more," Peter Joop said.

"There is no end to the story for us, it is always in our thoughts."

Joop added he and his brothers had been collecting as much information about their late father as they could. Their father, who had been a meat inspector before joining the resistance, had helped downed Allied pilots escape from the Nazis. He was eventually arrested in 1943.

AFP also reported that the Joop family declined to discuss the contents of the letter.

blc/ss (AFP, epd)

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