This memorial in Beek commemorates the deportation of the Limburg Sinti. The inscription “We let them go” reminds us that there were no protests against it, that most people did not even notice. For much more than the Jews, the so-maligned Zigeuners always had been living outside of the society.
The picture [b] is made by Herman van Rens. [c]
Created in 1933 and adopted by the first World Roma Congress in 1971
Johanna Bamberger (1893-1935) was called the “old mother Steinbach”. She was mother, later grandmother and great-grandmother of the family, where Pierre Schunck gave tutoring in the twenties.
About the Sinti people around the Heksenberg a richly illustrated book was published, which now has its second edition: Settela en Willy en het geheim van de Heksenberg (Settela and Willy and the mystery of the witches’ mountain), ISBN 978-90-822416-3-1, available at the Thermen Museum, Coriovallumstraat 9, Heerlen or at http://www.landvanherle.nl/bestellen
Apart from the beginning, the following movies about the book on YouTube come almost completely without text:
This picture comes from the second video.
Allow me to draw your attention to the fact that in this time of food shortage, the population wandering in caravans is a nuisance in the landscape. In these times of flexible legislation, would it not be possible to concentrate them in places more suitable for this purpose?
The Mayor of Gennep to the Secretary General of the Home Department in The Hague, March 27, 1942.
Roger Moreno Rathgeb, composer of Requiem for Auschwitz, gave a speech entitled “The Forgotten Holocaust” before he lit a candle for its victims during the memorial service “Valkenburg liberated 75 years ago”. Because that needs to change, you find below the most detailed page of this digital war memorial.
There is much misunderstanding about the correct designation of the people, who not so long ago were commonly only called Gypsies or Zigeuner. That are designations coined by others. For a long time it was suspected, that it is derived from the German Ziehgauner, wandering rascal. Much more likely it comes from the Greek word Athingani, (Ἀθίγγανοι, untouchables). Whatever the origin, it is taken as a swear word by many. Both by those, who are referred to as such and by racists, who use the word that way, such as the Nazis. Meanwhile, therefore, the name they give themselves is often preferred.
They had been roaming the European countryside for centuries, meeting a need there: for traveling artisans, musicians, small traders, livestock dealers. That need was much smaller in the cities, because there was sufficient clientele there, also for colleagues with permanent residence. In Western Europe, those travelers were traditionally mostly Sinti, so that we also often hear and read: Sinti and Roma. Markus Reinhardt, a great-nephew of the famous guitarist Django Reinhardt and thus a Sinto himself, finds this problematic. Not only because the Sinti are part of the Roma. He and his band self-consciously use the old word, which some others refer to as the Z-word, and sing, Wir sind Zigeuner - aus Ehrenfeld sind wir! (We are Zigeuners, from Ehrenfeld we are!) Ehrenfeld is a quarter of Cologne where many Roma people live. Because, Markus and others state, there are more groups among them - for example, the Ashkali, Boyash, Kalderasch (Kalderaša), Lovara, Čurara, Mačvaja, Ursara, Xaladytka, Xoraxane and Kalé - who are overlooked by that designation Sinti and Roma. [1.1]
The same says the violinist Mario Triska, brother-in-law of the aforementioned Roger Moreno: “I am a zigeuner (gypsy). What can be wrong with a word, when it is spoken kindly?“ [1.2]/a>
But what is the correct designation when we do not want to offend or exclude anyone? On this website you will not find an answer to that question, because that is something the members of that minority have to decide for themselves. We believe that the most important thing is respect.
Before the war, there were only Sinti in Limburg. So it is not difficult when it is about the persecution in Limburg. Then we speak of Sinti. With the term Roma, it becomes more difficult. Sometimes it refers to the Romani-speaking minority in Eastern and Southeastern Europe, for example, when we speak of Sinti and Roma. But sometimes it also means all related minorities throughout Europe and their descendants in, for example, America and Australia. On this page we use that second meaning. Because that is how it is used internationally and this is an international website. For example in this sentence: The genocide of the Sinti and other Roma is also called Porajmos. 
This genocide was partly different from that of the Jews. But this persecution also has a long past history, which is hardly known. Did you know, for example, who were the first slaves of the European conquerors in the Americas? We learned at school, that that was the original population of the Caribbean, almost no one of whom survived within a short time. But already on his third voyage, Columbus brought slaves from Europe. Kalé from Spain, commonly called Gitanos there. Better known today for their flamenco music.
There were an estimated 11,000 caravan dwellers in the Netherlands in 1940. Generally speaking, “several hundreds of gypsies” were spoken of among them. 
While the Jews in the cities and villages lived door to door with Christian neighbors, the Sinti, who were still mostly wandering at the time, stayed among their own kind. This made it even easier for the Nazis to deport them almost silently. As a result, we find comparatively far fewer stumbling stones reminding us of these deportees. The last place of residence on their lifelong journey was the assembly camps. So those are actually the place, where stumble stones can be placed, as being the last residence before deportation. But even that was only an intermediate station. They were, in the most literal sense, concentration camps.
In the Nazis’ view, there existed not only the Jews, whom they considered an inferior race from the beginning, but also degenerate Aryans. These were criminals, whores, pimps, vagrants, beggars and “work-shy”, as the long-term unemployed and incapacitated were called.
Initially there was discrimination against all caravan dwellers, not especially the Roma minority among them. All of them were all “criminals and work-shy elements”. So, for example, were the Jenischen , who were classified by German racial ideologues as nach Zigeunerart umher ziehende (people who wander in the manner of gypsies).
As a collecive term for those groups, the word “asocials” was invented. The Nazis increasingly assumed that people who belonged to one of these groups had a genetic defect. This included people who had a traveling profession. So these were also work-shy, although for the time being they were still considered Germanic by some important Nazis. But that offered no protection against plans to murder them. An associate of Rauter [2.3] wrote on May 13, 1943 about the majority of the Dutch Sinti, that die als germanische Zigeuner und Nomaden, ähnlich wie in der Ostmark die burgenländischen Zigeuner, durch die Lande ziehen, und ein Gewerbe ausüben, das polizeilich gesehen unerwünscht ist. (they roam the countryside as Germanic gypsies and nomads, similar to the Burgenland gypsies in the Ostmark, and perform a profession that is undesirable from a police point of view). 
The Roma in Austria’s Burgenland are not Sinti but Lovara. 
The snare was tightened, even for the victims themselves, almost silently. At least in the beginning. The following is a brief summary of that gradual tightening, which, unless otherwise indicated, is based on chapter 6 of Herman van Rens’ book. 
Since the Nazis kept no records of this forgotten Holocaust, we still do not know how many people died as a result. The most reliable estimate is between 400,000 and 500,000. 
Sie neigen, wie die Erfahrung zeigt, zur Kriminalität (…), es fehlen ihnen vielfach die sittlichen Antriebe der Achtung vor fremdem Eigentum, weil ihnen, wie primitiven Urmenschen, ein ungehemmter Okkupationstrieb zu eigen ist.
Translation: They (the Gypsies) tend, as experience shows, to criminality …, they often lack the moral impulses of respect for other people’s property, because, like primitive prehistoric people, they have an uninhibited instinct of occupation.
Federal Supreme Court, January 7, 1956, landmark decision rejecting compensation for Roma people persecuted under National Socialism. BGH IV ZR 211/55 pp. 8-9 in RZW 56; 113, n. 27. 
For decades after the war, the police in the FRG were still working unabashedly with so-called “Landfahrerkarteien”, in which the stored data on travelers they wanted to keep an eye on. People still warn each other, for example in the rental business in Hameln: Slight gypsy impact, better do not offer anything. 
In the meantime, the European Parliament is interfering. Will the fine words be followed by deeds and will there be major national differences? We will wait and see. 
All these necessary changes in the point of view have to be carried by society from below. In Aachen, there was a policeman who was known for having great sympathy for the travelers. He was never able to make a career as a result. Nearby, but in Belgium, a Sinto neighbor told me about his daughter. She was with a boy from the village. The latter was called to go to the police one day. “What’s all this about this gypsy girl? Aren’t there any decent girls left?” In the meantime, the two have long since married. The policeman in question has retired. But the same spirit is still alive. Another story from Belgium, but much more recent:
A large group of Roma families have been wandering for months in empty buildings in Ghent, with no prospect of a peaceful future. Many of them have been here for years, but nobody has ever taken care of them. Roma are always chased away no matter where they go. That is the same in the cozy city of Ghent. A subtle discouragement policy by the authorities is trying to gradually drive the families away. 
That’s the way it goes on and on. Prejudice and discrimination perpetuate each other.
As we have already seen, there are quite big differences between the various groups that were victims of the Porajmos. This is mainly due to the centuries-old division into various tribes that have lost contact with each other. This is reflected in the differences in language and culture. But there are also commonalities that have a long life. In the past, caravans were often burned when the owner died. For many, it is still customary to leave the deceased in peace: Their names are no longer mentioned. In this way, the deceased receive the rest they deserve after death. Out of respect for this, separate pages with brief biographical details are not published for these victims, as is the case for other war victims on this website. 
That is how we proceed here as well. We do not mention the names of the victims. But to the survivors and their descendants we wish: Long may they live.
Important commemorative days are: 
Digital name memorial Oranjehotel
It is one of the most frequently asked questions: who was imprisoned in the Orange Hotel? Unfortunately, there is no complete list of all prisoners. Much of the prison records were destroyed by the German occupiers shortly before the liberation.
See also Oranjehotel & Waalsdorpervlakte82
Jan van Lieshout, Het Hannibalspiel
A sinister game during World War II of the counterintelligence service of the Kriegsmarine (Marineabwehr), which led to the downfall of three Dutch-Belgian resistance groups, ISBN 10: 9026945744 ISBN 13: 978902694574880
Loenen Field of Honour
Over 3,900 war victims are buried at Loenen Field of Honour and include those who lost their lives in different places around the world due to various circumstances. There are military personnel, members of the resistance, people who escaped the Netherlands and went to England during the first years of the WWII to join the Allies (‘Engelandvaarders’), victims of reprisal and forced labour and …79
Markante feiten in Limburg tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog
Remarkable facts in (Belgian) Limburg during the Second World War
Anyone who thinks that hardly any resistance took place in the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium should definitely read this document. The emphasis is on the armed resistance. Author: Mathieu Rutten.78
Stichting Struikelstenen Valkenburg
Also 45 Jews deported from Valkenburg did not return. The Stichting Struikelstenen Valkenburg (“Foundation Stumbling Stones Valkenburg”) was established to place so-called stumbling stones in the sidewalk in front of the house from which they were deported, in memory of the murdered Jews from Valkenburg. With a complete list.
See also Stolperstein on Wikipedia.77
Roermond Front City
Series of stories by Eric Munnicks about the last months of the war.
See also the other War Stories of the Roermond Municipal Archives. Unfortunately no translation available. 76
Camp Vught National Memorial
The Camp Vught National Memorial (Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught) is located on a part of the former SS camp Konzentrationslager Herzogenbusch, also known as Camp Vught (January 1943 – September 1944).70
The Margraten Boys - About the US War Cemetery
Harrowing and redeeming, this is the history of a unique ‘adoption’ system. For generations, local families, grateful for the sacrifice of their liberators from Nazi occupation, have cared for not only the graves, but the memories, of over 10,000 US soldiers in the cemetery of Margraten in the Netherlands.
Free e-book by Peter Schrijvers. More e-books on WWII, in English and Dutch, by this author: https://www.google.de/search?hl=de&tbo=p&tbm=bks&q=inauthor:%22Peter+Schrijvers%2268
The Jewish Monument
Every victim of the Holocaust who was murdered is memorialised on the Joods Monument with a personal profile. The Jewish Monument is not only suitable for searching and commemorating. You can supplement the monument with photos, documents and stories, by making family connections and adding members of families. To place a call and get in touch with other users. You can also add information about stumbling stones and important other external links.67
When the miners go on strike against the German occupiers
The mine strike in Limburg started on April 29th, 1943. The workload was rising and rising. The first Dutch men were forced to work in Germany. The immediate reason was General Christiansen’s order to arrest all released prisoners of war from the Dutch army again and to transport them to Germany. The strike is broken up by means of executions.66
Persecuted in Limburg
Jews and Sinti in Dutch Limburg during the Second World War
Dissertation by Herman van Rens on 03/22/2013, University of Amsterdam, slightly edited
© 2013 Hilversum65
Ons verblijf in het dorp Mergel (dagboek) (Meerssen 1989)
Our stay in the village of Mergel (diary, Meerssen 1989
Joop Geijsen from Meerssen tells how he and two other boys went into hiding for a year in the limestone caves just outside Meerssen, which was later called the diver’s inn.
As far as we know, sold out and only available in Dutch libraries.64
Beelden van verzet
This book shows, how every Dutch generation deals differently with the past of resistance.
If you can read Dutch, you can find the download link for this essay by Sander Bastiaan Kromhout
Published by the Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 May, 2018
Print edition ISBN 9077294244.62
Regional Historic Center Limburg
Limburg has numerous specialized archive institutions that preserve relevant historical sources concerning World War II. However, it is not always clear to the public for which information they can go where. Archives have overlapping work areas, organizations and people have been active in the past in different areas and in different fields. So it often takes a long time to find the right place to find information.
Here you can search, but also share your documents with other interested parties. This can be done by donating them to existing archives or museums, or by making digital copies of the available documents or images.61
La résistance durant la guerre 1940-1945
It is mainly about the network “Clarence” whose founder was Walther Dewez; evoked are also the names of various agents of Visé and the Fourons that were part of this movement.58
Stichting Herinnering LO-LKP
The foundation remembrance of LO-LKP wants to raise awareness of the history of the resistance by the organisations LO and LKP. To this end, she makes the contents of his memorial book and many original documents available to the interested reader in digital form.56
Short historic American film about the Divers Inn
A silent film, shot by a USAmerican team after the liberation of Valkenburg. The first part has been re-enacted, with the help of the Valkenburg resistance. It shows how people going into hiding (divers) were taken to the divers inn. The man in the hat is always Pierre Schunck. The film starts at his home in Plenkertstraat, Valkenburg. The role of the policeman on the bike at the start is not entirely clear. According to the accompanying text, this is a courier.53
Database persoonsbewijzen uit de Tweede Wereldoorlog
About Dutch identity cards in the Second World War as well as images of identity cards in combination with other documents and genealogical and personal data including life stories.49
Memorial stone for the resistance people Coenen and Francotte
In front of the Provincial Resistance Monument in Valkenburg. Here the underground fighters Sjeng (John) Coenen and Joep (Joe) Francotte were murdered on 5 September 1944, just before the liberation of Valkenburg48
Resistance Memorial of the dutch province of Limburg
Every year on May 4, the commemoration ceremony for the fallen of this province takes place here. Meanwhile, also the veterans are no longer among us anymore.47
Call to everyone, but especially to the residents of Valkenburg
On September 17, 2019 it will be 75 years ago that the town and all villages of the current municipality of Valkenburg aan de Geul were liberated.
To commemorate the liberation and to display the wartime as accurately as possible, the Museum Land van Valkenburg is looking for personal stories, eye witnesses and tangible memories.
Of all these lifelike stories, materials, photos, footage and equipment, we are organizing a unique and as complete as possible overview exhibition under the name “We Do Remember”46
Roll of honor of the fallen, 1940 - 1945
A website commissioned by the dutch Second Chamber (~ House of Representatives). The Honor Roll of Fallen 1940-1945 includes those who fell as a result of resistance or as a soldier.45
Borderless resistance – On Spying Monks, escape lines and the “Hannibal Game”, 1940-1943
Paul de Jongh describes in detail an escape line from the Netherlands to Belgium. Unique case study on the resistance in World War II on both sides of the Belgian-Dutch border. Focus is on the Belgian side. Extends the book by Cammaert, especially where it concerns the group Erkens in Maastricht.44
The hidden front
History of the organized resistance in the Dutch province of Limburg during World War II
PhD thesis 1994, by CAMMAERT, Alfred Paul Marie.
The complete book in Dutch, with English summary, on the website of the University of Groningen.
World War II in South Limburg
Very many pictures ordered by municipality. For Valkenburg: many pictures from the Nazi boarding school for boys Reichsschule der SS (former Jesuit convent) and from the days of liberation, by Frans Hoffman.40
Institute for Studies on War, Holocaust and Genocide
Institute for Studies on War, Holocaust and Genocide
Issues related to war violence generate a lot of interest from society and demand independent academic research. NIOD conducts and stimulates such research and its collections are open to all those who are interested.38
Limburg gaf joden WOII meeste kans
Dutch Jews had the best chance of going into hiding and surviving the Holocaust in the province of Limburg. This is apparent from the dissertation on the persecution of Jews and Sinti in Limburg during the Second World War by the historian from Beek, Herman van Rens at the University of Amsterdam.
More info in Dutch36
Tweede Wereldoorlog en bijzondere rechtspleging
About the trials of Dutchmen who collaborated with the occupiers: The so-called special administration of justice. This page shows you the way. Here you will find photos, the most used keywords, references to interesting archives, indexes, websites, personal stories and guides for research.35
The Dutch Underground and the Stoottroepers
Stoottroepen (Stormtroopers) consisted of the ancient resistant fighters who entered in the Dutch army after the liberation of Limburg, to participate in the war against the fascism.15