14 Sept 44Original size 2357 × 2914 px
Memories of Pierre Schunck 2
“September 1944. South Limburg liberated.
I have been asked to write something about our liberation.
Therefore this sketch:
A person in hiding in Valkenburg no longer could stand all those liberation rumors. He disappeared and in the evening he came back with a story. He had been with Americans in Margraten. They wanted to know everything about the bridges over the Geul. He referred them to his boss, “the subdistrict leader of the resistance” who would knew everything about it. The person in hiding was sent back to me with the request to wait for an American officer early in the morning on Daelhemerweg near Sibbe. The password was “Steeplechase”.
Well, I did so with my hiding person. The American was there. At his question I said “On the Cauberg side of the Geul, no more German bridges, all but one destroyed, on the other hand still Germans the only bridge is undermined and guarded.”
The officer started talking in a walkie-talkie, after which a row of jeeps with soldiers appeared. They would attempt to get hold of that bridge.
In two groups, we went down to the Grendelplein. There I warned the few persons who were on the street, not to be noisy. Everything had to be done in silence. (The population was in the caves).
A group went behind the houses in the direction of the school, to get the German bridge guards at gunpoint. The other group went towards the church tower, from where they could see the bridge over the wall of Den Halder castle.
However … in the night, Germans had chosen quarters in the dancing Pavillon, who saw our Americans and … the bridge went up! Only the Cauberg side of the Geul was now liberated. The other side of Valkenburg still had to wait.
, while also the mining area was liberated a few days later, due to this unsuccessful “bridge conquest”.
This was the “front-experience” of Paul, sub-district leader of the L.O. in R8218.”
The center of Valkenburg on Open Street Map