Evelyn Leigh Dastmalchian on Truus Oversteegen

“SHE was a perfect spy. Everyone underestimates a teenage girl.”

No one suspected 16-year-old Truus Oversteegen of being an assassin and spy. Inspired by her mother’s communist activism, Truus believed in fighting injustice from a young age. When WWII broke out in Holland, she was recruited by the Dutch resistance to “liquidate” Nazis. Joined by her younger sister Freddie Oversteegen and a young Hannie Schaft, the trio used their girlish charms to flirt with nazis and lure them to their deaths. While Truus and her sister evaded Nazi suspicion, their comrade Hannie Schaft was captured and killed shortly before the war ended. With the war over but the trauma lingering, Truus turned to art as an outlet for her pain, creating a bronze sculpture in honor of her deceased friend. Watch as muralist Evelyn Leigh Dastmalchian pays homage to her personal hero.

Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.


Evelyn Leigh Dastmalchian

Evelyn Leigh Dastmalchian is a muralist from Los Angeles, California.

Featured Woman

Truus Menger-Oversteegen

Truus Menger-Oversteegen was born August 29, 1923, in Schoten, North Holland in the Netherlands. Truus and her sister Freddie were raised by a single mother, Trijntje van Der Molen. Socially and politically aware from a young age, Truus was primed to act when WWII broke out in Holland. Along with her sister and Hannie Schaft, Truus became a member of the anti-Nazi Dutch armed resistance. Thought the exact number is unknown, Truus and her resistance killed and wounded members of the Nazi party known as the Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging. After the war, Truus became a sculptor, painter and published author of When not, now not, never. (Toen niet, nu niet, nooit.), a book about her experiences in WWII. Truus regularly spoke at universities and schools about anti-Semitism, tolerance and the impact of war. In 1967, she received Righteous Among the Nations, a honor used by the State of Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives to save Jews from the Holocaust. And on April 15, 2014, Truus was recognized with the Mobilization War Cross from the Dutch Prime Minister. Truus died on June 18, 2016, in Grootebroek at the age of 92.