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



Aussenministerium was the code name for een resistance group, which originally consisted mainly of students. They were engaged in repatriating mostly young men to the Netherlands, who were employed in Germany under forced labor. The name is the German term for Foreign Office and was probably a form of camouflage.
They often cooperated with the LO, since the repatriates naturally had to go into hiding after their repatriation.
In "Het Grote Gebod" [1] we read about this group:

In the fall of 1943, a group formed out of the student resistance in Delft under the leadership of Hauptdienstleiter Wim with the goal of getting their colleagues in Germany out of the war industry and bringing them home. Shortly before, such jobs had already been successfully done at the border in our province, with one person in Heerlen excelling in particular and continuing to do very good work. Nevertheless, the Delft organization grew nationwide, and the Limburg group, especially in Heerlen and Nijmegen, made contact with it. In the spring of 1944, "Delft" moved its headquarters to Amsterdam. The organization essentially acted as follows: the office in Amsterdam produced the necessary papers with false stamps and sent its people, mostly with dual functions, on their way to Germany. This had to be done with all kinds of camouflage, and, for example, the “Gesandtschaftsrat” (legation councilor) Marcel from Heerlen worked in Germany in an officer’s uniform. Once he even landed in Riga. One of the LKP’s confidants, Prins (Prof. Mr. J. Oranje †), also played an important role in the AM. He made several trips to Germany and once had the opportunity to visit the aged statesman Dr. H. Colijn. (Former Prime Minister of the Netherlands Hendrikus Colijn, arrested in June 1941 and taken to Germany. [2]) These people were in close contact with their own office in Berlin, which always kept Amsterdam informed about the latest regulations, required stamps, etc. of the Germans.
Offices were set up at five points along the border to receive the students, at Kerkrade, Venlo, Nijmegen, Arnhem, and Coevorden. Three methods were used to bring the students back, possibly also workers. First, they tried to bring the student with false Arbeitswechselpapiere ("work exchange papers") to a place near the border. He was then picked up there and secretly taken across the border. Subsequently, the student was given papers for a Dutch destination. And finally, the so-called box method was used, in which students were hidden in the tool boxes under express trains.
The students coming back were mainly taken care of by the LO. In this way, many hundreds of young men returned safely to their homeland.

Cammaert mentions three members of the Außenministerium. Two of them did not survive the war, see below.
The Staatspolizei (National Police) from Aachen reported in July that, based on statements by some students arrested at the German-Dutch border, they had tracked down employees of the Außenministerium. They were Coenen, J. Grooten and J. Stitzinger. [3]

  1. Drs L.E.M.A. van Hommerich, Het Grote Gebod, dl.1.1, De LO, Kampen 1951, p. 346
  2. Hendrikus Colijn, Wikipedia • NederlandsDeutschEnglish
  3. 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, p.696

All the fallen resistance people in Limburg

“Aussenministerium” – 2 pers.

Jan Hubert
∗ 1915-01-10
† 1944-09-05
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Knokploegen (K.P.) - “Aussenministerium” - People in hiding - - Simpelveld -

Former subdistrictleader of Simpelveld. Cammaert: After the betrayal of Wittem [1.1], J.H. Coenen from Simpelveld and his comrade W.J. Francotte from Vaals, who had worked …
More in our story Resistance in Valkenburg
wall: right, row 16-03
∗ 1918-05-04
† 1944-09-05
Kamp Vught
- Bocholtz - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - “Aussenministerium” -

In Wiel Grooten’s file at the OGS (War Graves Foundation) it says that he was a machine fitter and was arrested by the Gestapo in Aachen. [1]
But before that, he resisted in two …
wall: left, row 04-03