Potatoes and WeaponsOriginal size 2464 × 3472 px
the girls stood as nailed on their places. Some cried and sobbed at the top of their voices. The men had gone outside and walked all over in front of the searching policemen whenever it was possible.
Fortunately the gardener, Leo Dahmen, digged in the weapons deeper in another place before and built a potato heap upon them, like they were usual for the winter storage. Another potato heap was at the place which was indicated on the outline. When the policemen began to pull this heap to pieces, loud protest came from the male employees; all of them stood around it there. They said things like: These are our potatoes, hands off, this heap belongs to us, not to the boss, he has nothing to do with it etc. The potato heap was destroyed nevertheless and they found nothing.
As of this time I was allowed to go inside to my wife. Meanwhile my parents who had come from Heerlen by a cab and chaplain Horsmans sat there, too. Renesse also came in and informed us: „We found copper and about this you will have to answer to the German authorities. So you will be sent to Vught.“ (During the war a German concentration camp was located there.) My wife got order, to prepare pyjamas and toiletries for me. She revolted intensely, she declared that she was pregnant and would go to Vught together with me. I wanted to speak with the chaplain and said: „I would like to confess before I go. “ Renesse permitted this. I asked the chaplain, to contact the engineer Johan because of the weapons, as well as the Jesuits in Maastricht because of her property, so that my wife Gerda wouldn’t further run any risk during my captivity. He promised to regulate everything.
Shortly after this confession Renesse ordered a gendarme to lead me away. I was fastened to his wrist with handcuffs and we had to go by Valkenburg this way. Then my father came into action. He planted himself in front of Renesse and said: „My son is no criminal! Even if he would have hidden weapons, I then would be proud of him. I do not want him to walk tied up onto the street. There stands a cab outside and I insist that you, Mr Offizier, give order to take him away with the cab. If not, then I will inform my son-in-law, who is his brother-in-law, how you humiliate his close relative. And this son-in-law is the local group leader of the NSDAP (German nazi party) in Heerlen.“ Renesse gave way and I went by cab to the police station on the Emmaberg.
The top sergeant sat there. The policeman Renesse wanted to lock me up in a cell, but the top sergeant waved, that I had to come into his office. He sent the young man away and asked me very surprised, what was going on. I answered: „Renesse found copper with me at home.“ By then it was noon. The top sergeant called his wife and asked her to give me something to eat. She brought me a big cup of broth with a beaten egg in it.
Later the top sergeant said after a careful search in different books: „Refer to an ordinance of our Secretary General in The Hague regarding the delivery of copper, alleged to the support of ’Dutch’ Industry. This is a case for the prosecuting attorney’s office, not for the SD in Maastricht!“ ( SD = Sicherheitsdienst des Reichsführers-SS, secret service of the SS )
Renesse comes in, ignores me and goes to the telephone. The top sergeant, who sits next to it, puts his hand on it and says: „This is a copper case, isn’t it?“ „Yes and I have to inform the SD on it.“