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

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Geulhem



In the Diver’s Inn

On the basis of a map, Pierre Schunck shows an American soldier the tunnel system in the Dölkesberg.
Photo: Dwight W. Miller
Source: https://nimh-beeldbank.defensie.nl/beeldbank/

https://www.openstreetmap.org/relation/2756870#map=17/50.87103/5.77311

Geulhem was during the war still part of the no longer existing municipality Berg & Terblijt. It is mentioned separately here because at the Meerssener Broek in Geulhem, today’s Gemeentebroek, the divers’ inn [1] of the LO of the subdistrict Valkenburg was located in a cave behind the house of Sjir Jansen, which was no longer used for limestone mining. In the summer of 1944, the KP (knokploeg, combat group) South Limburg moved in there. Further down you will see why.
In the steep southern valley wall of the Geul valley there are more of these old cave systems, created by the need for limestone blocks for the construction of houses. The cave dwellings in Geulhem are well known, but they were not used as hiding addresses during the occupation period because they were too conspicuous in the center of the village. Some of these cave systems disappeared due to the quarrying of limestone for the cement factory in Maastricht. The employees of these neighboring opencast mines Curfs and Schunck were entirely on the side of the resistance. This is evident from the story of Coen Grotaers, among others. [2]
This was an important reason for the establishment of the divers’ inn directly on the Meerssenerbroek. But in the spring of 1944, the Germans came up with the idea of setting up an underground and thus bomb-proof factory in the Bronsdal cavern, in the immediate vicinity, where about 250 BMW 801 aircraft engines were to be overhauled every month. This became too dangerous for the divers’ inn. But before the factory could start operations, the war was over.

  1. The “diver’s inn” in the Caves on Meerssenerbroek
  2. The story of Coen Grotaers, told by his son


The fallen resistance people in Limburg

Geulhem – 2 pers.

Grotaers,
Coen
∗ 0000-00-00
† 0000-00-00
Australia
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Geulhem - Survivors -

Worked as an excavator operator in the Curfs limestone quarry in Geulhem. He and his wife, as well as many colleagues in the adjacent Curfs and Schunck quarries, helped people in hiding in the …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
Jansen,
Sjir / Gerard
∗ 0000-00-00
† 0000-00-00
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Geulhem - Survivors -

Behind his house was the entrance to the Diver’s In, which was almost completely covered by the bushes, only accessible via a steep slope. Pierre Schunck called him “a very simple man, but a …

More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg