The fallen resistance fighters in the dutch province of Limburg
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The fallen resistance fighters in the dutch province of Limburg



Giel Berix
Districtschef LO

St. Josefziekenhuis Heerlen

Karel van Berckel

Chef de clinique

The Heerlen district of the L.O. consisted of eight rayons (sub-districts):

  1. rayon Heerlen
  2. Hoensbroek
  3. Kerkrade
  4. Ubach over Worms
  5. Brunssum
  6. Geleen
  7. Klimmen
  8. Valkenburg

Source: Dr. Fred Cammaert, Het Verborgen Front, chapt. VIb $VIII: De L.O.-districten

Heerlen was the seat of the LO district of the same name. St. Joseph Hospital, under the direction of Chef de Clinique Karel van Berckel, played a prominent role as headquarters. The first district chief was Vicar Giel Berix. The fire chief Charles Bongaerts was “of course“ often found there.
The City Heerlen was an example of how resistance groups worked well together. They did not get along well at first, if they knew each other at all, because of the strong social compartmentalization (called pillarization) in those days. They came from very different backgrounds:

  • The mostly conservative ex-soldiers like Smit and Bongaerts, who resisted out of national considerations. They were active early on, but were also discovered relatively early by the occupiers.
  • The Catholics, who had organized themselves in the LO and the KP ( commando group). From 1943, they were by far the largest resistance organization in the mining district, but also in Limburg in general. The most important district leader of the LO of Heerlen was Giel Berix, vicar at the Pancratius Church, Heerlen’s main church.
  • The Reformed, such as rev. Pontier and Jaap Musch, who were especially active in the rescue of Jews and especially Jewish children.
  • The Communists, a cohesive group, many of them miners, who increasingly collaborated with other groups such as the LO. In proportion to the number of their members, the resistance group with the most fatalities.
  • The Social Democrats had no resistance group of their own, with the exception of the RVV, which was quite insignificant in Limburg. Worked, among others, in the team of Father Beatus.

One of the greatest networkers who succeeded in getting all these conflicting groups to work together was the Franciscan Gerard van Beckhoven, better known as Father Beatus. He and his circle of people from all these groups formed the cement of this collaboration.
An important place for all these activities was the St. Josef hospital, also known as Putgraaf Hospital, where the chirurgian and hospital director Karel van Berckel and the nuns were in charge.

Liberated: 1944-09-17

Heerlen was and is the center of the eastern part of the Dutch mining district. During the war the mines were still in full operation and they were of great importance for the supply of electricity, but also for the railroads and thus for the Germans. As a result, many young men, who did not want to go to Germany to work, could stay here legally. But there were also many people in hiding working in the mines, with false papers, because they were not watched so closely.
See also The strikes of April-May 1943.
Visit the Jewish memorial, Akerstraat, 6411GV, Heerlen. Originally, the memorial plaque was placed on the inside of the balcony above the entrance of the synagogue in Stationsstraat. After the sale of the synagogue to the pharmacy Ritsen, the plaque was moved to the Jewish cemetery.

Heerlen – 29 pers.   ⇒All the fallen resistance people in Limburg
Beckhoven, van
Pater Beatus
∗ 1899-09-21
† 1945-03-20
Heerlen - early resistance - L.O. - press - priest - person in hiding - Gerard van Beckhoven or Father Beatus van Beckhoven OFM was kapelaan (vicar) in Heerlen at the rectorate church of St. Francis on the Laanderstraat in Heerlen [1] and there he became a refugee helper with an extensive network.
As early as 1940 he was consulted …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
wall: left, row 15-02
Beers, van
Adrianus Hubertus
∗ 1895-09-24
† 1942-08-31
KZ Groß-Rosen
Heerlen - CPN - early resistance - Scaffolder, helped to bring refugees across the border. Arrested on June 24, 1941.
Eventually he ended up in the Nacht und Nebel [1] concentration camp in Gross-Rosen [2], where Albert Speer [3], Hitler’s architect, had granite quarried, which he needed for the construction of the new …

wall: middel, row 05-02
Berckel, van
Karel C.
∗ 1892-08-19
† 1944-09-05
Kamp Vught
Heerlen - L.O. - K.P. - press - Surgeon and chef de clinique at the St. Jozef hospital in Heerlen. He was one of those who created there an important resistance center and the beginning of the LO in the Heerlen district, from where the connection with Valkenburg was also made. Like almost all people of the Limburg L.O. he was …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Karel C. van Berckel op de lijst van personen die tijdens de bezetting belangrijk waren voor Valkenburg.
wall: left, row 15-03
Jan Willem
∗ 1907-04-12
† 1945-03-13
Heerlen - early resistance - L.O. - priest - person in hiding - Since september 10, 1933, Giel Berix was a kapelaan (in the Netherlands a term for Roman Catholic auxiliary parish priests, vicars. In Belgium they are also called Onderpastoor) at St. Pancratius Church in Heerlen. [4]
Giel is a regional call name still very common at that time, standing …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Jan Willem Berix op de lijst van personen die tijdens de bezetting belangrijk waren voor Valkenburg.
wall: left, row 15-04
Charles M.H.J.
∗ 1909-08-07
† 1944-11-23
KZ Ladelund, KZ Neuengamme
Heerlen - early resistance - press - Ordedienst - Netw. Bongaerts - police - Married to Trees (Theresa) Dahmen. In 1940 Charles was a reserve officer in the Dutch army and during the five day battle of the Netherlands he fought on the so called “Grebbenberg Line”, that the Dutch army held to the very end, repulsing heavy assaults from the German forces. After …

wall: left, row 16-01
Constant Jozef Ernest
∗ 1895-09-19
Berg en Terblijt,
† 1944-09-05
Kamp Vught
Heerlen - Berg en Terblijt - L.O. - “More complicated need of clothing used to be regulated by the director of the municipal social welfare office, Mr Cornips, with me. He was very competent for this due to his function. It was predominating about suits, clothes, coats etc. for families being hidden as a whole (primarily Jews) …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Constant Jozef Ernest Cornips op de lijst van personen die tijdens de bezetting belangrijk waren voor Valkenburg.
wall: left, row 17-01
∗ 1905-12-10
† 1942-11-12
Heerlen - CPN - early resistance - press - Worker in a factory, liaison man for the party newspaper De Waarheid. Arrested on January 13, 1942.
wall: middel, row 06-01
Pieter Mathijs
∗ 1892-07-29
† 1944-11-19
Heerlen - L.O. - Pieter Mathijs Erkens was director of the brick factory N.V. Beckers-Koten’s Steenfabriek in Heerlen since 30 January 1934. During the war years 1940-1945 the factory did not produce. [1]
He was arrested on June 15th, 1944.
Do you know more? Write us!
Coming from Sachsenhausen, he arrived …

wall: left, row 16-02
Maria Anna Clara
∗ 1915-11-16
† 1945-03-18
- Heerlen - L.O. - - Nurse, assistant to the medical examiner at the municipal employment office in Heerlen. "She saved numerous approved persons from being sent to Germany for forced labour by changing medical certificates on a large scale and by signing rejection certificates herself." [1]
She forged …

This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.04-11
∗ 1907-11-04
Bottrop (D)
† 1942-07-24
Heerlen - CPN - press - Construction worker. On August 17, 1942, the SiPo stopped Gerards one more in Heerlerheide while he was distributing the illegal magazine De Vonk. He was shot down when he tried to escape and died in the hospital. According to …

wall: middel, row 07-01
∗ 1923-01-13
† 1943-03-29
Heerlen - early resistance - Group Smit - Joseph Jean Elise Janssen was an office employee of a mine [1.1], a member of the Smits group and of the international resistance group and escape line Dutch-Paris [2], as were his uncle Joseph Lejeune and Jean Caubo
Arrested on …

wall: left, row 15-05
Konieczny /Koniecny,
Edmund (Ed)
∗ 1912-10-02
Lünen (D)
† 1944-09-08
Berg en Terblijt
Heerlen - L.O. - local contact - Edmund Konieczny lived in Heerlen and was an interpreter and sworn translator. His parents were born in Poland. Member of LO-Heerlen.
“Koniecny, who practiced the profession of interpreter/translator since the end of 1942, dedicated himself mainly to Poles in hiding. In addition, he …

wall: left, row 16-03
Kuypers /Kuijpers-?,
∗ 1924-07-08
† 1945-01-26
Heerlen - CPN - The oorlogsgravenstichting (Dutch War Graves Foundation) writes: “Johannes Wilhelmus Kuijpers was a waiter / member of the resistance”. In Cammaert X, Annex VIII. Arrestatie communisten en radicale socialisten 1940-1945 (Arrest of communists and radical socialists 1940-1945) we …

wall: left, row 17-02
Johan Herman
∗ 1893-10-24
† 1944-12-07
Heerlen - CPN - press - Miner. Last place of residence: Heerlerheide.
All of the following information can be found on scans posted by a family member at  …
wall: middel, row 07-02
∗ 1913-03-08
† 1944-09-07
Heerlen - Brunssum - NV - person in hiding - Jaap and Gerard Musch did their resistance work on the basis of their Christian beliefs. Jaap moved from Amsterdam to Heerlen on September 9, 1942 in connection with his resistance work. [1#3]
The brothers Jaap and Gerard Musch from Amsterdam started their rescue …

This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.04-22
∗ 1906-04-23
† 1945-03-09
Heerlen - L.O. - priest - Vicar in Heerlerheide. Arrested by the Landwacht on August 18, 1945. See Cammaert VIb, p. 665 and "Vier dont ut zelf - 150 jaar geschiedenis van een parochie" (150 years …

wall: left, row 16-04
Rinzema /Rensema,
∗ 1909-02-28
† 1945-06-01
Heerlen - CPN - press - Baker. According to and his name was Rinzema, according to the card index of the CPN (communist party) it was Rensema. Since the same …

wall: middel, row 08-01
Rooyackers /Rooijackers,
Wim A.
∗ 1918-03-13
† 1944-09-05
Heerlen - early resistance - K.P. - press - police - Wilhelmus Antonius (Wim) Rooijackers was a trade correspondent and a member of the mine police. Almost from the beginning of the war he was involved with prisoners of war who had escaped from Germany. (Cammaert III, p. 217) He also was involved in a failed assassination attempt (Cammaert IV, p. …

wall: left, row 17-03
∗ 1895-04-27
† 1943-05-02
Wellerlooi (Bergen [L])
Heerlen - april/may strike - Reinier Savelsberg was an electrician at the state mine Oranje-Nassau III. He participated in the April May strike of 1943. On the night of May 1 to 2, 1943, Servaas Toussaint and  …

wall: left, row 17-04
∗ 1923-01-01
† 1945-03-09
Heerlen - Nijmegen - L.O. - K.P. - press - Student - Student at the MTS (technical secondary school), living in Nijmegen. He took care of people in hiding and distributed illegal magazines. He also hid an American pilot. Member of the LO-Maas en Waal. On August 1, 1944 he was arrested and on March 9, 1945 he died in the Mauthausen concentration camp.
wall: left, row 18-01
∗ 1920-12-01
† 1944-12-31
Heerlen - Miner
wall: left, row 18-02
∗ 1894-11-24
† 1945-05-31
Heerlen - L.O. - Miner and helper of Jews, born November 24, 1894 in Mirns en Bakhuizen (in Gaasterland, Frisia). Married Marijke Teernstra on May 17, 1924 in Gaasterland. Despite their relative poverty, on May 7, 1944, they took in 19-year-old Martha de Lieme, who had gone into hiding and was part of …

wall: left, row 18-03
Leendert L.
∗ 1922-01-03
† 1945-03-03
Heerlen - person in hiding - Reason for his arrest on July 25, 1944: Shirking forced labor (euphemistically called Arbeitseinsatz, labor mission, mostly in German …

wall: left, row 19-01
∗ 1916-09-09
† 1942-09-17
Heerlen - early resistance - Group Smit - police - Sef Smit from Roermond was before the war a professional sergeant in the 13th Infantry Regiment. [1]
He chose after demobilization in July 1940 to join the police in Heerlen. He did not stay there for long. It was a thorn in his side that the public actions of N.S.B. members and …

wall: left, row 19-02
∗ 1916-07-03
† 1945-01-07
KZ Schömberg, KZ Natzweiler
Heerlen - early resistance - press - Group Smit - Former soldier and window dresser. At first, he distributed illegal magazines and self-printed leaflets supplied by Vicar E. Hennekens from Valkenburg. They received increasing support from young people, especially …

wall: left, row 19-03
∗ 1904-06-06
Den Haag
† 1943-05-02
Wellerlooi (Bergen [L])
Heerlen - april/may strike - Meijnardus Jacobus Tempelaars was a hewer in the state mine Oranje-Nassau III. Arrested in connection with the miners’ strike on the night of May 1 to 2, 1943. He and Renier Savelsberg and  …
wall: left, row 18-04
Harrie /Harry
∗ 1917-08-24
† 1945-03-15
Hameln (D
Heerlen - early resistance - press - Ordedienst - Netw. Bongaerts - police - carillon - Former soldier and after his demobilization by the Germans in 1940 member of the mine police. Was involved, among other things, in acts of sabotage in the Oranje-Nassau Mine I (O.N. I) in Heerlen, which was uncovered by the SiPo. In …

wall: left, row 19-05
Vinerius /Vienerius,
Engelbert Joseph
∗ 1893-05-10
† 1942-11-17
Heerlen - CPN - press - Miner, distributor of De Vonk and De Waarheid, arrested in August 1942. Died in the main camp of Neuengamme.
Do you know more? Write us!
wall: middel, row 08-02
∗ 1918-11-10
† 1945-02-23
Heerlen - early resistance - press - Group Smit - Lambertus Arnoldus Vlemmings was a former soldier and after his demobilization by the Germans in 1940 parcel deliveryman at Van Gend & Loos. At the beginning of the war, he distributed underground magazines and leaflets printed by  …

wall: left, row 19-04