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



Inscription in the “Fluwelen Grot”

Valkenburg was not liberated in one day because the advance of the US troops on the Geul brook came to a halt for a few days. As a result, between 14 and 17 September 1944, the front went along the Geul through Valkenburg. It was almost entirely evacuated during these liberation days. When elsewhere people went into a bunker or the basement, in Valkenburg they used of course the lime caves, those labyrinths in the soft limestone, which had been created over the centuries from the extraction of lime stones. These caves were in the liberated, southern part of Valkenburg.
In many places in the caves we find inscriptions like this one, scratched or with made charcoal, with the names of the people who have sheltered at this place.


From 1940 to 1981 existed the municipality of Valkenburg-Houthem. Valkenburg was its largest town. The municipality of Valkenburg a/d Geul of today is even bigger. When we speak of Valkenburg here, we mean either this municipality, or, after 1943, the Valkenburg sub-district of the L.O., the organization for the aid to people in hiding. This sub-district was part of the was part of the L.O. district of Heerlen.
Read more on the resistance in Valkenburg

Liberated: 1944-09-13 – 1944-09-17
Wikipedia NL: Valkenburg-Houthem

Memorial stone for the resistance people Coenen and Francotte

Citizens of Valkenburg, who died for our freedom

Memorial stone Jewish victims from Valkenburg

The strategic importance of the Geul in 1944

Murderous artillery duel in Valkenburg

American army vehicles

Front of the book “Valkenburg 2019 - 75 years liberated”

On the Cauberg in Valkenburg stands the Resistance Memorial of the Province of Limburg near the spot where on September 5, 1944, shortly before the liberation of South Limburg, the men of the Knokploeg (fighting group) South Limburg Sjeng Coenen and Joep Francotte were shot. In the chapel of this memorial, the names of the fallen resistance fighters are written on three walls. There are also people among them who died of the aftermath after their liberation from the camp.
The municipality of Meerssen also includes Ulestraten and thus the hamlet of Waterval with the farm Wijngaardshof. The farmer there, Jan Frans Antoon Horsmans, was a member of the Knokploeg Zuid-Limburg (South Limburg Command Group), whose headquarters were located on his farm. Until suddenly, on Mad Tuesday (September 5, 1944), news came that retiring German soldiers were to be quartered there. Sjeng Coenen and Joep Francotte, who had just successfully participated in the liberation of 80 prisoners in Maastricht, had to hurry to hide some stolen German vehicles in the forest. When they returned to the farm, they attracted attention and were arrested. This was the beginning of a ordeal through the hotels in Valkenburg where the officers were housed. Finally they were shot on the Cauberg in Valkenburg.
See for more info: Two Resistance Men Shot on the Cauberg
See also the list of persons, who have played a role during the war in the subdistrict of Valkenburg.

Valkenburg – 6 pers.   ⇒All the fallen resistance people in Limburg
Gronden, van der
Gerrit Jan
∗ 1895-12-13
† 1943-01-02
Maastricht - Valkenburg - CPN - early resistance - press - On November 6, 1897, at the age of almost two years, he moved with his parents and siblings from Dordrecht to Vlissingen, his mother’s birthplace, see civil registry card Vlissingen [1]. On 29 May 1906 to Vaals, on 19 June 1917 to Houthem (from 1941 on municipality of …
More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Gerrit Jan van der Gronden op de lijst van personen die tijdens de bezetting belangrijk waren voor Valkenburg.
wall: right, row 26-03
Hout, van
∗ 1908-10-17
† 1945-02-22
Valkenburg - person in hiding - Professional cyclist from 1932 to 1940. On August 25, 1933, he broke the world hour record on the velodrome in Roermond with 44.588 kilometers. After the German invasion, he closed down his pub in Eindhoven and joined the resistance with his wife Anneke (1916-2012), among other things to help …

This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.04-13
pater Christofoor
∗ 1895-11-16
† 0000-00-00
Valkenburg - Venlo - L.O. - priest - Father Christofoor was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts [1] ( He lived in the cloister on the Cauberg in Valkenburg. After vicar Jac. Naus had to go into hiding, he became his successor at St. Martinus Church in Venlo …

wall: right, row 29-02
Charles Joseph
∗ 1916-03-05
† 1944-01-18
AEL Groß-Beeren, Kreis Teltow
Valkenburg - early resistance - press - forced labor - The weekly magazine Het Land van Valkenburg wrote about him: “He refused to sign a declaration of loyalty and went into hiding. Arrested (date unknown) for spreading illegal literature.”
At the  …
More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Charles Joseph Nijst op de lijst van personen die tijdens de bezetting belangrijk waren voor Valkenburg.
wall: right, row 26-04
Roks (Rocks?),
Jan Joseph
∗ 1883-05-21
† 1944-03-03
Valkenburg - early resistance - Group Erkens - Jan Joseph Roks was a member of the early resistance group Erkens in Maastricht, co-owner of the guesthouse Samoshuis, the later hotel Parkhotel Atlanta. Nic Erkens spent some time in hiding with him, arrested in Valkenburg during the Hannibalspiel …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Jan Joseph Roks (Rocks?) op de lijst van personen die tijdens de bezetting belangrijk waren voor Valkenburg.
wall: right, row 27-02
Gerard L.R.
∗ 1922-06-23
† 1945-01-21
Maastricht - Valkenburg - CPN - Jew - early resistance - press - Student HBS (high school). Listed in the Honor Roll of Victims 1940 – 1945 [1], in the category resistance people. Moreover he had a Jewish father, Jacob Soesman. Mother: Christina Johanna Maria Prick
See also the site of Joods Monument [2]: “Gerhard Lodewijk …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Gerard L.R. Soesman op de lijst van personen die tijdens de bezetting belangrijk waren voor Valkenburg.
wall: left, row 35-04