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 – 9 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 …

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 - Zwarte Plak - 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 …

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  …

wall: left, row 30-02
Jan Alphons
∗ 1912-10-26
† 1945-03-01
Maastricht - april/may strike - Jan Dieteren from Schinnen had been living in Maastricht since May 2, 1934[1#2], his wife was Anna Catharina DANIELS from Oud-Vroenhoven. [1#1][1#5]
He was a miner at the Hendrik State Mine in Brunssum and was arrested for sabotage against the …

This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.-
∗ 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 …

wall: left, row 25-02
Peter Leonard
Leo (Huub)
∗ 1892-10-10
† 1943-05-02
Wellerlooi (Bergen [L])
Heer - CCD - municipality - april/may strike - Leo Ruyters was deputy Chief Controller of the C.C.D. (The Centrale Controle Dienst, Central Control Service, 1934-1954, mainly supervised trade in scarce goods. [1]) Member of the resistance group Bouman, who supported …

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  …

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  …
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 …

wall: left, row 01-04