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



On November 9, 1939, the Venlo incident occurred: although the Netherlands was still neutral, two agents of the British SIS (Secret Intelligence Service) were arrested by the German Sicherheitsdienst (security service).
Also in and around Venlo, help for Jews only really took off at the beginning of the final deportation phase, among other things through the foundation of the LO, see below, which allowed the work of the individual resistance groups to be pooled. Three police officers, Aarts, Snellen and Pollaert, warned as many Jews as possible before they were to be picked up and got them addresses for hiding, for example in Sevenum and Grubbenvorst. In August 1943, the SiPo-Maastricht arrested Aarts and Snellen (Cammaert V, p. 430)
The L.O. had ist origin in Venlo and was later supported from Roermond. The initiators were the vicar Jac Naus and the teacher Jan Hendrikx, carried by a broad anti-German sentiment. Cooperation between the L.O. and the O.D. was excellent in Venlo, which was not the case everywhere.
Immediately after the foundation of the LO there was a strong influx to the resistance movement. This was also the result of the large number of students, who refused to sign the loyalty declaration introduced on March 13, 1943.
More on that below: The Bogey of Venlo
In September 1943, the brand new Venlo District of the LO was divided into nine rayons (sub-districts): 1. Beesel, Reuver and Belfeld, 2. Baarlo and Kessel, 3. Helden, Meijel and surrounding hamlets,4. Sevenum, Horst and Castenray, 5. Grubbenvorst and Lottum, 6. Maasbree, 7. Broekhuizen, Broekhuizenvorst, Meerlo, Tienray, Swolgen and Blitterswijk, 8. Velden, Lomm, Arcen and Wellerlooi, 9. Venlo city area, as well as Blerick, Tegelen and Steijl. A district meeting was held every two weeks and a city meeting every week. [1]
The resistance in Venlo, like the resistance in all cities, needed a rural area where those in hiding could go. This was the area between Maas and Peel, mainly farms. When the Allied invasion of Europe was expected, the O.D. Venlo had the idea to train people in hiding as soldiers for a mobile unit. This happened near the farm of Cornelis Krans. Go to Helden to see how that turned out. And more information at Cammaert, Chapter VIII (De Ordedienst) page 882: "De duikkampen bij Helden en Sevenum" (The underground camps near Helden and Sevenum).
In the last months before the liberation on March 1, 1945, the Meuse was front line. Therefore, the bridges over the Meuse were heavily fought over. The area west of the Meuse had been cleared of Germans between late September and early December 1944 and was part of the British zone. The depopulated east bank of the Meuse, on the other hand, was not liberated from Germany until early March 1945 by soldiers of the American Ninth Army. (Cammaert VIII, page 894)

In Venlo four clergymen paid for their resistance with their lives. On the memorial plaque at the catholic Martinus Church we find the names of three priests of this church and also that of the protestant priest Henk de Jong:

United in resistance.
Dean Jules van Oppen († February 10, 1943 Vught).
Father Christofoor Meulendijks († February 1945 Bergen-Belsen).
Vicar Jac. Naus († April 15, 1945 Bergen-Belsen).
Priests of the parish of St. Martinus.
Pastor Henk de Jong († February 12, 1945 Haarlem).
Preacher at the Reformed Church in Venlo.
Surrendered to the Lord.

  1. Genealogie Jan Naus

Liberated: 1944-12-03 – 1945-03-02
Wikipedia NL: Bevrijding van Venlo en Blerick

Venlo 1945 (Wikimedia)
Bombardementen op Venlo (Wikipedia)
Bevrijding van Venlo en Blerick (Wikipedia)

The Bogey of Venlo. In mid-August 1943, a certain Johan Berendsen joined the municipal police of Venlo. He later commanded the Labour Control Service AKD (German: Arbeitskontrolldienst,), a gang of former camp guards, with the task of hunting down people in hiding. Berendsen thus acquired the nickname the bogey of Venlo. They also went hunting in the surrounding towns.
“In the summer of 1944, the commando Berendsen of the AKD raged in the region. It is not known how many of the hiders fell victim to it. At least five of them died in Germany: A.J. van den Munckhof, L.J. Rongen, J.M. van Gestel, P.H. van Rhee and H.A. van Oudenhoven” (Cammaert VIb, p. 713)

The fallen resistance people in Limburg

Venlo – 20 pers.

Alfons Reinoud
∗ 1925-05-01
† 1945-01-22
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Couriers of the Resistance - Venlo -

Fons Berger was the eldest son of the mayor of Venlo, who stepped down in 1941, and attended the gymnasium Sint-Thomas College there.
He became a district courier for the L.O. in Venlo,
wall: right, row 28-02
Bilsen, van
Franciscus Jacobus Karolus
∗ 1911-01-25
Ginneken & Bavel
† 1944-01-19
- Police - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Underground Press - Venlo -

Photo: collection of the Van Bilsen family [2]Frans van Bilsen was chief of the Ginniken police in 1940. [1#2][2]
During the occupation, he …

This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.
Frans Gerard Marie Joseph
Frans, “Van Aken”
∗ 1925-09-22
† 1944-11-01
- Couriers of the Resistance - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Forced Labor - Venlo -

The 18-year-old Frans Coehorst was asked by Hendrikx after his graduation from high school to work for him as a courier in the Limburg district and …
wall: right, row 27-04
Jean Marie
∗ 1909-01-01
† 1945-03-09
- Initial resistance - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Venlo -

Jan Dael was, among other things, a hotel clerk, a driver, and a cook before finally finding his vocation in the bookstore and library De Boemerang on Geldersepoort. He was the father of six …
wall: right, row 27-05
∗ 1907-09-12
† 1945-03-01
- Initial resistance - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Venlo -

Leopold Franciscus Dael was a self-employed cab driver and night watchman in a school seized by the Germans as an office building. He and his brother
wall: right, row 28-01
Martin Hubertus
∗ 1922-10-01
† 1945-01-22
KZ Neuengamme, Bergedorf
- Forced Labor - People in hiding - Venlo -

Photo: [7] →According to his death certificate [1], Martin Driessen was a machine fitter. But according to the records from Amersfoort (Police …
Johannes Jacobus
Jan “Ambrosius”
∗ 1917-02-02
† 1945-05-03
Oranienburg, KZ Sachsenhausen
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - People in hiding - Aid to Jews - Venlo - -

Jan Hendrikx studied in Nijmegen and was involved in student resistance there before returning to Venlo and becoming a teacher. [1], p. 576
In 1940, J.J. Hendrikx …
wall: right, row 28-04
Johannes Hendrikus Hubertus
Harry /Ford
∗ 1902-06-03
† 1945-01-07
KZ Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Local contacts - Venlo -

Harry Holla was co-owner of a car paint shop in Venlo, local contact person for the people in hiding ("divers’ chief") of the …
wall: right, row 28-03
∗ 1923-07-24
† 1945-01-06
- Couriers of the Resistance - Ordedienst (O.D.) - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Women in the resistance - Venlo -

Katie Jans did messenger work for the LO. In Venlo, the local LO and OD groups worked well together, as in most places in North Limburg. She was a daughter of reserve Major General Jacobus …
wall: right, row 29-01
Jong, de
Hendrik Roelof
∗ 1911-10-20
† 1945-02-12
- Underground Press - Local contacts - Aid to Jews - - NV - The clergy - People in hiding - Venlo -

In 1940, Hendrik Roelof de Jong was appointed pastor of the Reformed Church in Venlo. He was co-editor of the illegal newspaper Trouw and a collaborator of the Nationaal Steun Fonds (National …
wall: right, row 28-05
Henry /Harry
∗ 1920-10-06
† 1944-09-05
- Underground Press - People in hiding - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Couriers of the Resistance - Venlo -

The resistance activities of Hendrikus Jozef Meijer, a teacher of classical languages and courier, in whose parental home couriers from the ten L.O. districts of Limburg regularly arrived, …

wall: right, row 29-03
Piet van Kempen, oom Willem
∗ 1893-06-12
† 1945-03-12
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Jews in resistance - Aid to Jews - Venlo -

Max Meiler was a trained electrical technician, but a merchant by profession. He was a contact man in Venlo for the district leader Ambrosius …

This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.03-08
pater Christofoor
∗ 1895-11-16
† 1945-03-10
- The clergy - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Venlo - Valkenburg -

Father Christofoor was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts [1] ( He lived in the cloister on the Cauberg in Valkenburg. After vicar
wall: right, row 29-02
Jacobus Johannes
Jac “Van Doorn”
∗ 1913-12-31
Egchel (Helden)
† 1945-04-15
- People in hiding - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Venlo - The clergy - -

On June 6, 1939, Jac Naus was appointed vicar in the parish of St. Martinus in Venlo. There, together with Ambrosius and his …
wall: right, row 29-04
Oppen, van
Jules Louis Antoine
∗ 1882-05-10
† 1943-02-16
- Initial resistance - The clergy - Venlo -

Dean Jules van Oppen was the first clergyman in Venlo and all of Limburg to pay for his resistance with death. After the German invasion on May 10, 1940, he opposed the German films that were shown …

wall: right, row 30-04
Soest, van
∗ 1919-12-08
† 1945-03-15
KZ Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg
- Studenten - Venlo -

Jan van Soest, notary student, living at Stalbergweg 36 in Venlo, died around March 15, 1945 in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg (file 408/1945). But why was he in there? …

wall: right, row 30-01
Soest, van
∗ 1883-05-11
† 1945-02-23
- Venlo -

Wilhelmus (Willem) van Soest, receiver of direct taxes. Bergen-Belsen: file 407/1945. Source: Dodenboek Venlo (Book of the Dead) [4]
Is on the Roll of Honor (Erelijst 1940-1945) of the …

wall: right, row 29-05
∗ 1906-06-04
† 1944-11-03
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Couriers of the Resistance - Women in the resistance - Venlo -

In the Venlo Book of the Dead (see link below,, Hay Goertz writes about Hubertina Johanna Elisabeth Soree: “During the war, Bertha was active in the resistance in Venlo, where …

wall: right, row 30-02
Stephanus Hubertus
∗ 1901-03-11
Rothem, B
† 1943-05-02
- Venlo - Communists & Sympathizers - Underground Press -

He was a mason and an acquaintance of Lubbert Bos. Distributor of the party newspaper De Vonk [1]
Last address: Maasschriksel 13, …
wall: middel, row 24
Oscar Wilhelmus Laurentius
∗ 1914-12-20
† 1944-09-05
- Studenten - Venlo - Intelligence -

The medical student Oscar Wolters was participant in the resistance under the pseudonyms Doctor O. de Blécourt when he had to examine people and Otto Weber as a truck driver when he had to drive …

wall: right, row 30-03