What part soever you take upon you,
play that as well as you can and make the best of it.
This website is under a Creative Commons license:
• No commercial use
• No changing
You are free to share — to copy, distribute and transmit the site, also partially, but not for commercial purposes..
You may not alter, transform, or build upon this work and of course you have to indicate the author and the source as well as the license conditions.
Pierre Schunck, ∗ 24-03-1906 in Heerlen, ⚭ 03-10-1936 Gerda Cremers in Valkenburg, † 02-02-1993 in Kerkrade.
He gained fame mainly because he led the resistance organization L.O. in Valkenburg during WW2, see link.
Issued by „Voormalig Verzet Limburg“ (Association of Veterans of the Resistance), registration number (KvK) V 187800
One of the regular occasions on which the members of the VVL met was / is the annual commemoration on the Cauberg.
When preparing the commemoration celebrations Valkenburg 2019 – 75 years liberated, it turned out that almost nobody knew what the resistance in Valkenburg did. In fact, it was hardly known, especially among the youth, that there had been a resistance against the Nazi’s at all. Why is it important that this memory is kept alive? Of course, many will immediately answer, because that should never happen again. Of course that’s true, but everyone knows that history is NOT repeating itself. Hitler is dead and the current right wing populists are not just a copy of the Nazi’s. But still, there have been things back then that we still have to watch over now.
The Gestapo (Secret State Police) would have been jealous of all the options available to today’s internet giants, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and so on, to spy on us. Today this is not done for political but for commercial reasons. The fact that the religion of people is registered in many countries does not have any political reason either. But still: when the Nazis came to power in Germany, they immediately kwew how to find the Jews, the gypsies, the unionists, the communists etc. When the wrong government is in power, all data collected can be used against us. In China this is already happening in a very effective way.
The resistance started small, almost unnoticed even by those who committed resistance. Until they suddenly realized that they were in the middle of it.
With fascism it is just like that. It starts small. Bullying at school or at work. “Because” someone is different. Different belief, different skin color, different gender orientation – whatever. And in order not to be completely shut out, the victim often laughs with them. Bullies therefore often do not even notice that they are bullying someone. It becomes worse when that bullying happens in order to make feel better the bullies as a group. This way especially disadvantaged groups often feel attracted by foreigners’ haters. Because “we don’t have nothing, but at least we are civilized people“.
Then suddenly it becomes a movement, a party, a mass murder.
If you see someone inciting to hate others, say NO. If you see someone being excluded because he or she is different: resist!
Because the resistance that’s US!
This text is from my contribution to the memorial book “Valkenburg 75 years liberated”
The organized resistance in Valkenburg consisted mainly of assistance to hundreds of people in hiding, the so-called onderduikers, which is the Dutch word for divers. For example, men who did not want to work in the German war industry. The subdistrict consisted of Valkenburg, Berg and Terblijt, Sibbe, Margraten, Schin op Geul, Klimmen and Houthem. Each parish had a diver’s leader who had direct contact with the diving addresses. Couriers (mostly women) maintained the connection with the district management. Less and less was written down because of the dangers. Partly because of that, but also because of stupid luck, the LO had no losses in Valkenburg.
Since 1943, people who wanted to go into hiding came in increasing numbers from all parts of the Netherlands, although there were many German soldiers in the seized hotels in Valkenburg. But the presence of so many occupiers turned out to be a plus. Except for the KP-people Coenen and Francotte, who were beaten from one hotel to the other, before they were murdered on the Cauberg during the last days of the occupation. (The KP was the armed arm of the resistance in South-Limburg. They had their HQ in a farm in Ulestraten.)
Quite a lot of people in hiding worked in hotel kitchens, etc. They could therefore earn their own livelihood, as well as people in hiding who were housed with farmers. They hardly needed help in the form of coupons. Many of those, who were in hiding with farmers, received an agricultural exemption from Brands, the boss of the food local agency and could then legally reside and work there.
The rest of about one hundred and fifty people in hiding needed help from by means of ration stamps. That number fluctuated. There are no precise numbers, since they did not write down anything. At the distribution office next to the current chairlift to the Wilhelmina tower, the officials Freysen and Willems put aside between five hundred and eight hundred ration cards every month.
The Jews of Valkenburg did not survive the war to a large extent. Almost nobody could believe that those stories about extermination camps were real. But dozens of Jews, also from elsewhere, found shelter here.
Arnold Schunck, son of the subdistrict leader Pierre Schunck
I have to add: I do not know anything about the fate of Sinti or other Roma in Valkenburg, if here were any at all during the occupation.