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Stoffels & Berix

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This house search also had the effect that people became aware of me, who were already busy with resistance activity at that time.

Just before the war, the organization of laundries had recommended me an accountant specializing in this area . Mr. Stoffels from Bussum. He had always kept distance from me. Since this search, his attitude suddenly became more open and he spoke of war and the enemy with me.

In 1941 the company A.Schunck in Heerlen got a problem with the section Confection on the production of mining clothing. Their license was endangered if no separate production line was created. I was invited to take this organization (in fact my profession). With Stoffels I consulted on the set-up of the administration and the way in which the management could be established. Stoffels knew a person in Amsterdam, who was at home in the textile business. He would ask him if he felt something like coming to Limburg.

“Jan Langeveld” 1992

A few days later he was back again and now with the message: Indeed, the young man, unmarried, is willing to come. He is a Jew and will come under false flag. Ideally, he would have a living within the company so he would not have to go outside. In 1942 the preparation is ready. the carpenter separated and shielded already a room behind the storage, where the diver could live. I did not know his real name and I did not want to know it. To me he was Jan Langeveld as featured in his ID certificate, which made a poor impression. It was treated with an eraser so that the surface was damaged. Something to attract attention at the first check.

After Jan Langeveld was already installed in our company and no one of the staff, who had come from the glass palace to the Geleenstraat with machines etc., had any wonder about the new manager (after all, a new company also has new people) both my diver and myself were somewhat relieved.

Since a vicar in Heerlen had problems with the clothing of his hiding fellow human beings, we got in contact with him. We were able to help him with his clothing problem and he promised to do something for me with the papers of our hiding man. This vicar was "Giel" Berix. The “diving work” of this vicar didn’t have contact with the national resistance yet. He and his people tried to help whereever it was necessary. Only 1943 the whole was organized on a higher level and taken to a countrywide network, with the participation of two vicars from Venlo and primarily an elementary school teacher Jan Hendrikx, alias Ambrosius. And so I became a member of the resistance so to speak from one occurrence to the next one, in the beginning as the man for the clothes of the hiding people and later as a subdistrict leader (of Valkenburg and surroundings).
If one suddenly would have asked me: come on, join in … then I maybe wouldn’t have had something to do with it, after down-to-earth consideration, and because of the dangers of a married man with children and a company with people who also would be in danger, to lose their jobs. Now I was driven into it. I accepted it and knew that it had to be that way.
Pierre Schunck

Album : Resistance

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