Albert Hubert Laeven (Albert)
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Albert Hubert Laeven

Limburg 1940-1945,
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pers.Valkenburg 1940-1945

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Albert Hubert Laeven (Albert)


 25-09-1916 Schin op Geul      29-12-2005 Schin op Geul (89)
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Local contacts - - Survivors -

    Albert Laeven from Schin op Geul near Valkenburg worked in the drawing office of the mine Willem-Sophia [2] near Spekholzerheide during the war years.
    In the fall of 1942, he and his brother-in-law Gus Bosch placed two onderduikers (people in hiding) from Eindhoven with the miller Gus Eussen and the farmer Harrie Winthagen in Ransdaal. In early 1943, Albert came into contact with Pierre Schunck, head of the Valkenburg subdistrict of the Countrywide Organization for the Support of Persons in Hiding (L.O.), through Harie van Ogtrop, sexton in Valkenburg. He worked under the pseudonym ’Trebla’, which is Albert backwards.
    For the L.O., Albert was the local contact person for Schin op Geul, called duikhoofd (divers’ chief) in L.O. jargon. The task of the divers’ chiefs was mainly to look for hiding addresses and to provide those in hiding with ration cards and, if necessary, identity papers. The ration cards came from the distibution office through the subdistrict. Colleagues at the mine produced fake identity cards. Albert regularly took them home and his fiancée Louisa Bosch delivered them to the L.O. in Valkenburg.

    Anton Laeven, son of Albert, writes [3]: As a member of the L.O., Albert Laeven has taken on a number of resistance activities. The most important thing was finding hiding places and then accommodating those ‘divers’ there and taking care of them. This included, among other things, the delivery of ration cards, which were handed to him again via the large organization. Furthermore, identity cards had to be changed (forged). This also applied to company passes and so-called Landwirtschaftsausweise (agricultural ID cards) for people in hiding who worked for farmers. These forged passes were issued by employees of the Willem-Sophia mine (where he worked). Albert therefore regularly took forged papers from his work, whereby his fiancé Louisa Bosch was engaged to deliver them to Harrie van Ogtrop. Albert has been able to place no fewer than 34 people in hiding in and around Schin op Geul. He asked and prayed at sixteen addresses to take people. This of course did not always work and it was difficult if people refused to hide somebody at the last minute. On the other hand, this indicates that many people in our village knew that Albert cared for people in hiding, but that treason was never committed.

    From August 1944 he worked for Intelligence Service 18, or ID18, a service of District 18 of the LO, i.e., Heerlen and the surrounding area, including the Valkenburg subdistrict. He was charged with mapping the German positions in the vicinity of the village. This group was led by Harry van Benthum, the alias of the leader of the Kerkrade subdistrict, Theo Goossen. Cammaert writes: Once again it became apparent that organically grown resistance activities worked better and more effectively than those planted in Limburg from other parts of the country. Thus, in the summer of 1944, the L.O.’s intelligence service in the coal district was effortlessly transformed into a military intelligence service, which soon covered large parts of Limburg after its liberation and provided numerous services to the US Army. [4]
    On October 17, 1950, Albert Laeven was awarded the Mobilization War Cross [6.1] and in 1984 the Commemorative Cross of the Resistance. [6.2]
    On the church square in Schin op Geul, memorial plaques and an information board commemorate the victims of the Second World War. There will also be a plaque informing about Jean Caubo and Albert Laeven. When it is done, you will also be informed about it here.

    Footnotes

    1. Read more: The Raid on the Distribution Office in Valkenburg
    2. wikipedia NL Willem-Sophia
    3. Valkenburg 75 jaar bevrijd
    4. Dr. F. Cammaert, Het Verborgen Front – Geschiedenis van de georganiseerde illegaliteit in de provincie Limburg tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Doctorale scriptie 1994, Groningen
      12. Inlichtingen p.1147-114
    5. 75 jaar Bevrijding Fotoroute: 10 Mei 1940
    6. 1. Mobilisatie-Oorlogskruis
      2. Verzetsherdenkingskruis
    7. More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
    8. Wikipedia NL: Schin op Geul