Charles M.H.J. Bongaerts
text, no JavaScript Log in  Deze pagina in het NederlandsDiese Seite auf DeutschThis page in English - ssssCette page en FrançaisEsta página em Portuguêstopback
Charles M.H.J. Bongaerts is listed in the Resistance Memorial on the
left wall, row 16 #01

Limburg 1940-1945,
Main Menu

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

The fallen resistance people in Limburg


Charles M.H.J. Bongaerts

 07-08-1909 Venlo      23-11-1944 KZ Ladelund, KZ Neuengamme (35)
- Underground Press - Police - Ordedienst (O.D.) - Netwerk Bongaerts - Initial resistance - Heerlen -

Het Grote Gebod – L.O.

    Married to Trees (Theresa) Dahmen. In 1940 Charles was a reserve officer in the Dutch army and during the five day battle of the Netherlands he fought on the so called “Grebbenberg Line”, that the Dutch army held to the very end, repulsing heavy assaults from the German forces. After this, Charles Bongaerts was the head of the fire service in Heerlen, center of the coal mining area and this gave him access to vehicles which enabled him to play a prominent part in the underground resistance. They put up airmen in their home and transported them south on the long journey to England via Belgium, France and Gibraltar or Switzerland. On one occasion Charles Bongaerts stopped a German convoy and, claiming to be on urgent business, got a mechanic to repair his vehicle while three American airmen were in the back. [1]
    Before the war, he used to be a journalist at the daily newspaper Limburgsch Dagblad in Heerlen. Together with some others, he founded the resistance newspaper Het Vrije Volk (The Free People), not to be confused with the same-named post-war newspaper. [2]
    It was directed mainly at miners and was very well informed, because they had their people everywhere, even at the SiPo in Maastricht! [3.1]
    Later, in addition to the escaped POWs, other refugees came in, such as Jews. As a result of infiltration into the Bongaerts group by Vastenhout (Englandspiel), Peeters, Reijnders and J.M.W. Clevis were arrested on November 16, 1943. Van Megen was shot dead in Dohnson, Germany, on April 5, 1945. Peeters died in Venlo on June 24, 1947. He had not recovered from the hardships of the Buchenwald camp. Clevis was released in May 1944, Reijnders only after the liberation. (in Dutch)
    Sources: Traces of War [4] and Cammaert [2] and especially [3]: Chapter IV §III. The Bongaerts group entangled in the Englandspiel: the Vastenhout affair.
    He is buried in Ladelund. [5]
    This person is listed in the “Erelijst 1940-1945” (Honor Roll of the Dutch Parliament). [6]


    1. Joseph Marie Phillipe Bongaerts DFC, FC, OHK1
    2. 1. 1940-1945: Het Vrije Volk Heerlen, Enschede, Hengelo. → Lydia Winkel De ondergrondse pers 1940-1945
      2. Het Vrije Volk, dagblad
    3. Dr. F. Cammaert, Het Verborgen Front – Geschiedenis van de georganiseerde illegaliteit in de provincie Limburg tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog. Doctorale scriptie 1994, Groningen
      1. Hoofdstuk 1, Illegale pers, p. 1077
      2. Hoofdstuk 2, p.85, Hoofdstuk 3, p.136, p.142
      3. Hoofdstuk 4 §III. De groep-Bongaerts verstrikt in het Englandspiel: de affaire Vastenhout
    5. Neuer Friedhof, K.Z. Anlage, Ladelund, 7 N
    6. Erelijst 1940-1945