H.J.R. van Laar <i>(Jef)</i>
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H.J.R. van Laar

Limburg 1940-1945,
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pers.Valkenburg 1940-1945


H.J.R. van Laar (Jef)

 16-02-1921 Stokhem      15-08-2004 Margraten (83)
- Ambtenaren - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Local contacts - Margraten - Survivors -

Wikipedia NL

    In Het verborgen front (The Hidden Front), Dr Fred Cammaert writes about a local contact (duikhoofd or diver’s chief) of the L.O. in Margraten named J. van de Laar. [1]
    Nothing can be found about a person with that name. Even the surname Van de Laar is not listed in the municipal archives nor in the phone book at Margraten. [2]
    So it is likely that Pierre Schunck, Cammaert’s source as far as the Valkenburg subdistrict of the LO is concerned, meant the municipal civil servant and hider’s helper Jef van Laar.
    From his position as a municipal official in Margraten, he helped Dutch citizens to escape from the Nazis. He issued false identity cards to hundreds of persecuted Dutch men and women. As a result, they managed to avoid the concentration camps.
    He was also closely involved in the founding of the Margraten American Cemetery. [5]
    More about that huge US military cemetery and its unique adoption system: read The Margraten Boys. [3]
    Van Laar was apparently a talent for organization. He became the town clerk of Eijsden around 1952, was mayor of Cadier en Keer from 1964, from 1969 he additionally became mayor of Gronsveld and from mid-1970 he was also acting mayor of Eijsden for about a year. At the Limburg municipal redivision of January 1, 1982, he retired. [5]


    1. Dr. F. Cammaert, Het Verborgen Front – Geschiedenis van de georganiseerde illegaliteit in de provincie Limburg tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Doctorale scriptie 1994, Groningen
      6. De Landelijke Organisatie voor hulp aan onderduikers, p.684
    2. 1. https://www.openarchieven.nl/
      2. www.rijckheyt.nl/
      3. https://www.detelefoongids.nl/
    3. De Margraten Boys
      The Margraten Boys: How a European Village Kept American Liberators Alive
    4. More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
    5. Wikipedia NL: https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jef_van_Laar