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Limburg 1940-1945,
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1940-1945. The resistance in the dutch province of Limburg



In the first years of the war, many French-speaking prisoners of war fled from Germany to Limburg, from where they hoped that they would be helped on their way home. This was the beginning of the resistance in many Limburg places. In Kessel, on the west bank of the Maas, they came from the villages on the other side of the river. They were ferried across in rowboats and from there they were brought south to the Belgian border. This route was safer than crossing over one of the heavily guarded bridges over the Maas. [1]
For the L.O., which was the largest resistance organization in Limburg from 1943, Kessel belonged to the sub-district (rayon) of Helden, Meijel and Kessel. Typical of the situation in many places in central and northern Limburg was that the L.O. and the O.D. were headed by one person, in this case P. Timmermans. Here the O.D. was a real resistance organization.
What was also not unusual: In Kessel, they tried to cope with the large influx of people in hiding by setting up camps in the neighboring forests. There, those in hiding often received military training from OD members who had served in the Dutch army before the war. The Schreurs family cared for twenty-two persons in hiding at the Timmermans-bosch camp, and five at the Broek camp  [2]
After a shootout, the son Frans Schreurs was arrested, severely tortured, and then shot at Venlo police headquarters. [2]
On January 1, 2010, the municipality of Kessel was dissolved and incorporated into the merger municipality of Peel and Maas. [3]
From the municipality of Kessel, 83 people were deported to Germany for forced labor. Of these, 4 men did not survive the war. [4]
See also the war memorial in Kessel. [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
    3. Hulpverlening aan uit Duitsland ontvluchte (Franstalige) krijgsgevangenen, p.176
  2. 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, pp.604-605
  3. Kessel Wikipedia • Nederlands • Deutsch • English • Français • Català
  4. Kessel, ‘Sporen die bleven’
  5. Kessel, oorlogsmonument

Liberated: 1944-11-18

See also Between Maas and Peel

The fallen resistance people in Limburg

Kessel – 3 pers.

Geloven, van
Leonardus Hendrikus
Len, Leo, Lei
∗ 1925-12-09
Kessel (L)
† 1944-10-09
Kessel (L)
- Kessel -

The day of Lei van Geloven’s death is described in detail on the dutch websites of and [1]
The municipality of Kessel wrote to the OGS about this after the …

wall: left, row 26-05
Hendrik Johan Marie
∗ 1924-10-11
Kessel (L)
† 1944-12-30
- Knokploegen (K.P.) - BS (Domestic Forces) - Dutch Soldiers - Kessel -

Harrie was a member of the B.S. (Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten = Domestic Forces, an alliance of the three main Dutch resistance organizations officially formed on September 5, 1944 [1]) and …

wall: left, row 26-03
Franciscus Hubertus Hendrikus
∗ 1915-10-09
† 1944-11-19
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Knokploegen (K.P.) - Kessel -

Frans Schreurs was a market gardener and farmer by profession. [1#2][1#4]
Because Kessel repeatedly struggled with a lack of hiding addresses, several emergency camps were …
wall: left, row 26-04