Kleine Zusters van de Hl. Joseph
text, no JavaScript Log in  Deze pagina in het NederlandsDiese Seite auf DeutschThis page in English - ssssCette page en FrançaisEsta página em Portuguêstopback
Kleine Zusters van de Hl. Joseph

Limburg 1940-1945,
Main Menu

  1. People
  2. Events/ Backgrounds
  3. Resistance groups
  4. Cities & Towns
  5. Concentration Camps
  6. Valkenburg 1940-1945


Kleine Zusters van de Hl. Joseph

 ?      ? (00)
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Aid to Jews - The clergy - Women in the resistance - Heerlen - Survivors -

    The St. Joseph Hospital on the Putgraaf [1] in Heerlen during the occupation was firmly in the hands of the resistance and in particular the aid organization for people in hiding LO. This was a result of the cooperation of various people and groups, but would never have been possible if not also for the participation of the nuns who ran the hospital.
    They belonged to the Congregation Little Sisters of St. Joseph [2], which had been founded in 1872 by the priest Peter Savelberg from Heerlen. For a time, the congregation was the second largest in the Netherlands. It was open to women without education, without money, or with disabilities. Their slogan was “Help where no one helps”.
    In 1904, Savelberg and physician Frans de Wever took the initiative to establish the St. Joseph Hospital, whih they put under the leadership of that congregation.
    These nuns represent the role that women played in the society of the time and thus also in the resistance: almost invisible but indispensable. One rightly thinks of the important role of people like the surgeon and chief physician Karel van Berckel , who was shot in Vught. But without the nuns it would never have been possible, to make an entire floor of the cluttered hospital disappear, where people in hiding were cared for. Among other things, a Jewish baby was born there, with the help of a Jewish midwife. [3]
    The Heerlen Fire Department, led by Charles Bongaertz, also brought in people for this floor. For example, an Allied pilot, who had been rescued from a burning wreckage in Houthem and brought to hospital in a fireman’s uniform, under the eyes of the Germans.
    Personnel were screened for reliability by the nuns, and those who who did not meet the requirements were not told anything.
    When Giel Berix, the district leader of the LO of Heerlen, together with the Valkenburg subdistrict leader Pierre Schunck , came to steal mattresses for the divers’ inn in Geulhem, they looked in another direction.
    Many meetings were held by the LO in the hospital. It was an ideal place for that. After all, many people went in and out. The sisters provided coffee and cake.
    As far as we know, there was never any word of appreciation anywhere for their life-threatening work. After all, they were just doing their duty.


    1. St. Josef Hospital (Putgraaf Hospital), Heerlen
      Wikipedia NL
    2. Wikipedia NL Kleine Zusters van de Heilige Joseph
      Andere tijden De Kleine Zusters uit Heerlen
    3. Yad Vashem, The righteous among the nations,
      https://righteous.yadvashem.org/?search=Veugelers&searchType=righteous_only&language=en, search for: Veugelers.