Karel Hendrik Cobben <i>( Hein)</i>
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Karel Hendrik Cobben is listed in the Resistance Memorial on the
left wall, row 40 #01

Limburg 1940-1945,
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Karel Hendrik Cobben ( Hein)

 15-01-1925 Hoensbroek      25-12-1944 Neuengamme (19)
- Unorganized resistance - Nuth - Forced Labor -

monument.vriendenkringneuengamme.nl …

    Hein Cobben was the second son of a family with four children. They lived in Vaesrade, municipality of Nuth.
    He was a miner and stocky build. He regularly fought with members of the Nationale Jeugdstorm [1] (Nazi youth organization), who went in and out of Amstenrade Castle.
    One day Hein was talking to some friends at the fair in Vaesrade when suddenly men in civilian clothes, who had appeared almost unnoticed, held a pistol under his nose. Escaping was impossible. His brother Zef (Jef) had previously escaped from the prison in Nuth, was caught and escaped again, probably from the train to camp Amersfoort
    (source: Jos Ritzen on monument.vriendenkringneuengamme.nl, [7]).

    Another part of his story is told by heemkundehoensbroek.nl: [2]
    On August 16, 1944, at about 5 p.m., Karel Hendrik Cobben was arrested at his parents’ address by the Labor Control Service (AKD) for evading forced labor duty in Germany. Involved in his arrest was former baker L. Hoks from Groningen, who as a member of the AKD managed to track down a large number of people in hiding in Heerlen and the surrounding area, among other places.
    On August 22, 1944, he was sent to the so-called labor education camp (AEL) and transit camp Erika near Ommen. This was the headquarters of the AKD.
    Hein was friends with Arnold van Geenen. In the last letter to his parents in Vaesrade (from the Erika camp), Hein Cobben writes at the end of the letter: I am here with Arnold van Geenen. Tell Jef to send his regards to Els Joling and that she should not forget him, because he will be back soon. [3]
    On August 26, 1944 to the police transit camp Amersfoort. On September 8, 1944, he was deported from there to Neuengamme, a concentration camp southeast of Hamburg. He arrived there on September 10, 1944. [1]

    Now, did his arrest take place at home or at the fair? In the archives of the OGS it only says: Camp stay because of refusal to work, and that he was arrested by persons in civilian clothes, authority unknown. [4]
    Jos Ritzen [3], also from Nuth, writes in an e-mail: About Hein’s arrest: his parents’ house was diagonally opposite the fairground. So it could well be that the pistol was held under his nose at the fairground and he was then officially arrested at home.
    A few years ago, Jos Ritzen received this message via the association Vriendenkring Neuengamme (Friends of N.)  [7]: …after some searching, I have the suspicion that Cobben was also in Husum-Schwesing: all the people before and after his number died there or died shortly after being transported back to Neuengamme….
    Husum Schwesing [5] was a satellite camp that belonged to Neuengamme.


    1. Wikipedia NL: Nationale Jeugdstorm
    2. heemkundehoensbroek.nl Hein Cobben
    3. Jos Ritzen (http://www.nuthvantoen.nl/) to the author of this site.
    4. Archief Oorlogsgravenstichting Hein Cobben #3
    5. KZ Außenlager Husum-Schwesing, (Engelsburg), Wikipedia • NederlandsDeutschEnglish
    6. Oorlogsgravenstichting.nl
    7. https://monument.vriendenkringneuengamme.nl/person/400870/karel-hendrik-cobben/