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


April-Mei-stakingen, 1943

Monument De Hamert

The April-May Strikes 1943

Communiqué of the High Führer of the SS and the police of the provinces of Limburg and North Brabant on the death sentences related to the strike in the mines from April to May 1943.
On July 1, 1946, a mass grave containing seven bodies was discovered in Wellerlooi (municipality of Bergen) on the Wellse Heide (now the nature reserve Landgoed de Hamert). There an oak wood cross stands on a red brick wall, the resistance monument, as a permanent reminder of the seven resistance fighters Han Boogerd, Bob Bouman, Leendert Brouwer, Pieter Ruyters, Reinier Savelsberg, Meindert Tempelaars and Servaas Toussaint, shot in connection with the strike in 1943.
In the Dutch coal mining area this strike was called miner’s strike. The actual mining area stretched from Geleen to Kerkrade, but a not inconsiderable number of miners lived outside of it, for example in Valkenburg. In Maastricht, the strike was initiated by government employees. Later bank staff joined in. When the postal workers also wanted to go on strike, the members of the nazi party NSB present forced them to continue working with all sorts of threats. Long queues of people immediately formed in front of all the counters, wanting to buy one single 1-cent stamp. This way the post office was closed too. The factories also joined.
In the beginning there was a party atmosphere. People flocked to the pubs and didn’t suspect (or didn’t want to think about it) that the occupiers would of course not tolerate this and that there would be victims. These events made it clear that attempts to lure the Dutch with the status of an “Aryan brother nation” had failed.
The miners’ strike was part of the strikes of April-May 1943. The background was the return of Dutch soldiers to captivity, planned by the occupiers, to be put to work in the German war industry. They were the transition to a more massive resistance movement throughout the Netherlands, including the province of Limburg. The strikes were brutally suppressed, but the resistance organizations gained more new members (perhaps even because of this?). For the majority of Dutch Jews, however, it was already too late. :(

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.

April-Mei-stakingen, 1943 – 8 pers.   ⇒All the fallen resistance people in Limburg
∗ 1906-08-24
† 1943-05-02
Bergen (Noord-Limburg)
Roermond - april/may strike - The chemist Johannis Leendert Cornelis (Han) Boogerd worked for the company E.C.I. (Electrochemische Industrie) at the state mine Emma. "The entire staff of E.C.I. joined the (miners’) strike, after which the twenty-two employees were arrested and taken to Maastricht. In order to intimidate the others, one of them was chosen at random. Together with three miners and three employees of the C.C.D., Boogerd was shot in the evening of May 2 at the Hamert heath, by a firing squad of fifteen men of the Ordnungspolizei. (Cammaert VIa, p.497)
Plaque in the Staatsmijnen/DSM building in Heerlen. According to, he died on May 2, 1943 in Maastricht.
Please also read the article: When the miners strike against the German occupiers..
More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
wall: right, row 03-04
∗ 1899-05-05
† 1943-05-02
Roermond - CCD - early resistance - Ordedienst - april/may strike - Martinus Antonius Marie Bouman was a first lieutenant in the KNIL (Dutch Colonial Army), then chief controller with the C.C.D. in Limburg and East Brabant. He helped downed Allies and prisoners of war who had escaped from Germany. In 1940 and 1941 still on his own, then with R.H. van de Vin from Neeritter and Pastor Vullinghs from Grubbenvorst. Through the Group Erkens they got a larger network. The miners’ strike was his undoing. See also the article: When the miners went on strike against the German occupiers. Knight Militaire Willems-Orde 4th class.
More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
wall: right, row 04-04
Leendert Th.
∗ 1907-06-01
† 1943-05-02
Wellerlooi (Bergen [L])
Maastricht - CCD - L.O. - april/may strike - District head of the CCD (Crisis Controle Dienst, an agency designed to protect the food market from black marketeers). He was part of the resistance group Bouman, which brought downed Allied aircrew and escaped prisoners of war to safety.Arrested on May 1, 1943, for inciting participation in the strikes of April-May 1943. He was shot with six others in the nature reserve De Hamert in Wellerlooi.
wall: left, row 30-02
∗ 1902-01-30
† 1943-05-04
Kerkrade - april/may strike - Miner Henderich Horstmann from Kerkrade participated in the mine strike at the Domaniale Mine and was arrested there. When transferred from prison to the courtroom on 4 May 1943, he tried to escape, but was hit by a bullet in his arm. On order from the commanding officer, he was shot dead in the street immediately afterwards. (Cammaert VIa, page 493) Lies in the Municipal Cemetery at Kaalheide, grave 4-86
List of Honour 1940-1945.
wall: left, row 25-02
Ruyters /Ruijters,
Peter Leonard
∗ 1892-10-10
† 1943-05-02
Wellerlooi (Bergen [L])
Heer - CCD - municipality - april/may strike - Deputy Chief Controller of the C.C.D. (The Centrale Controle Dienst, Central Control Service, 1934-1954, mainly supervised trade in scarce goods) Member of the resistance group Bouman, who supported downed Allied air crews and escaped prisoners of war to get to safety.
Arrested on May 1, 1943, for calling a miners’ strike and sentenced to death. The next day he was executed at the Hamertse Hei.
Grave R 21b
See also the article: When the miners strike against the German occupiers
Monument Pro Patria, Raadhuisplein, 6226GN, Maastricht-Heer
wall: left, row 14-05
∗ 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 Meindert Tempelaars were sentenced to death in summary proceedings by the police court in Maastricht. The history behind the resistance-monument Wellerlooi
See also:
the article: als de mijnwerkers staken tegen de Duitse bezetter (When the miners strike against the German occupier). April-May Strike 1943
For the Dutch texts we recommend (free version)
wall: left, row 17-04
∗ 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 Servaas Toussaint were sentenced to death by the Polizeistandgericht (court-martial of the police) in Maastricht and executed by a firing squad of the order police on the heath Hamertse Hei near Wellerlooi
demijnen. nl: De Limburgse mijnen en mijnwerkers tijdens de bezetting 1940-1944 (The Limburg coal mines and miners during the occupation 1940-1944) including the April-May strike 1943
The history of the verzetsmonument (resistance monument) Wellerlooi. According to, he was murdered in Maastricht.
wall: left, row 18-04
Servaas H.
∗ 1914-12-22
† 1943-05-02
Wellerlooi (Bergen [L])
Amstenrade - L.O. - april/may strike - Supervisor at the Emma state mine, involved in the April-May strike of 1943. On the night of May 1 to 2, 1943, with Renier Savelsberg and Meindert Tempelaars sentenced to death in summary proceedings by the police court in Maastricht.
See also the following links, unfortunately all in Dutch:
als de mijnwerkers staken tegen de Duitse bezetter april-mei-staking 1943
wall: left, row 01-04