Groep Smit
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Limburg 1940-1945,
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  6. Valkenburg 1940-1945

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


Group Smit

The earliest reports of the Group Smit date from late 1940 and early 1941. It was particularly active in the eastern part of the Dutch coalmine area (Oostelijke Mijnstreek). As with the other early resistance groups in Limburg, with the exception of the Communists, most of them consisted of professional soldiers who had been demobilized after the occupation, mainly from the pre-war 13th Infantry Regiment, a regiment in which mainly soldiers from South Limburg had served and to which Smit had also belonged. They had contacts with the groups Dresen in Maastricht and Bongaerts in Heerlen and developed the same activities. Initially they distributed banned writings, including "Het Vrije Volk," a regional leaflet in which, among others, the surgeon Karel van Berckel wrote. From the spring of 1941, the Gruppe-Smit also engaged in intelligence gathering and the procurement and purchase of weapons, ammunition, and explosives.
Since the arrest of Pierre Dresen at the end of 1941, the SiPo knew of the group’s existence but did not yet want to intervene because they knew too little.
Dutchman H.M.J. Thelen, born of German parents, a former soldier and miner on the Oranje Nassau IV, joined the Smit group in the second half of 1941. In September or October, he wrote a letter to the German plenipotentiary for the province of Limburg, Schmidt, in which he reported his findings. Nothing is known about his motives. Schmidt turned the case over to Nitsch of the SiPo, who instructed Thelen to gather evidence. The Smit file grew thicker and thicker.
On February 2, 1942, almost the entire Smit group was arrested.
On July 16th, 1942, Smit and Treuen were sentenced to death and the other members of the group to imprisonment in a concentration camp.
On this website you can find as a special topic the resistance in Valkenburg. Two members of the group survived the camps there: the vicar Hennekens and the veldwachter (municipal policeman) Van Roy


  1. Dr. Fred Cammaert, Het Verborgen Front Geschiedenis van de georganiseerde illegaliteit in de provincie Limburg tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog, Groningen 1994, Hoofdstuk 2 De eerste militair-civiele verzetsformaties, §III. De groep-Smit, p. 107 e.v.
  2. Harry van Dijck Een verraderlijke geschiedenis uit Heerlen over Charles Spreksel en de groep Smit, uit: Themanummer Tweede Wereldoorlog van MijnStreek, 2019 Nr.3, p. 4 ff.
    Uitgave Stichting Historische Kring ’Het Land van Herle’

All the fallen resistance people in Limburg

Group Smit – 12 pers.

Léon Antoine
∗ 1912-02-06
† 1945-04-17
- Initial resistance - Group Smit - Sittard - Police -

Leo Bruls from Sittard was an aircraft mechanic and aviator at the Militaire Luchtvaartafdeling (Military Aviation Department) in Soesterberg. [1]
Today it is called the Koninklijke …
wall: right, row 17-04
Karel Joseph
∗ 1917-10-10
† 1943-03-02
KZ Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg
- Underground Press - Initial resistance - Group Smit - Hoensbroek -

In his younger years he was active in the youth movement. When he was drafted into military service, he was a casual laborer. From September 2, 1937 with the 3rd Mounted Field Artillery …

wall: middel, row 13
∗ 1909-09-06
† 1944-04-05
Bergen Belsen
- Underground Press - Initial resistance - Brunssum - Group Smit -

The primary school teacher J.M.R. Giebels was a member of the Smit group. The cost of the weapons purchases was met with the proceeds from the sale of photographs of the royal family. The …

wall: left, row 05-03
M.J. (Sjef)
∗ 1921-08-23
† 1944-04-18
KZ Sachsenhausen, Oranienburg
- Initial resistance - Group Smit - Schaesberg -

Miner at the Oranje-Nassau IV, arrested on February 2, 1942, sentenced to prison. Died of the consequences of the bombing of Oranienburg (Cammaert Chapter II: Appendix V, Arrests in the Smit …
wall: right, row 13-02
G. Hub
∗ 1909-02-15
† 1970-11-26
- Valkenburg - The clergy - Initial resistance - Survivors - Group Smit -

He was ordained priest on March 13, 1937, was vicar in Berg en Terblijt from September 1937, vicar in the parish of Sts . Nikolaas & Barbara in Valkenburg from May 1939, parish priest in Rothem …

∗ 1923-01-13
† 1943-03-29
- Initial resistance - Group Smit - Heerlen - Dutch-Paris -

Joseph Jean Elise Janssen was an office employee of a mine [1.1], a member of the Smits group and of the international resistance group and escape line Dutch-Paris [2], as were his …

wall: left, row 15-05
Paul Leon Willem Antoon
∗ 1921-02-28
† 1945-04-29
Dora-Mittelbau (Nordhausen)
- Initial resistance - Group Smit - Voerendaal - Underground Press - Forced Labor -

Paul Leclou attended the MTS (Secondary Technical School).
Cammaert writes about the situation in Voerendaal in 1940:
Former soldiers like Th.G.H. Treuen, L.A. Vlemmings, C. …
wall: right, row 34-04
Roy, van
Hubertus Andreas
∗ 1893-03-09
† 1981-11-24
- Initial resistance - Police - Valkenburg - Survivors - Group Smit -

Veldwachter (local policeman appointed by the municipality) in Valkenburg until december 1941. Was a member of the early resistance group around J.Smit in Heerlen. The earliest data on this group …

∗ 1916-09-09
† 1942-09-17
- Initial resistance - Group Smit - Police - Heerlen - Intelligence -

Sef Smit from Roermond was before the war a professional sergeant in the 13th Infantry Regiment. [1]
He chose after demobilization in July 1940 to join the police in Heerlen. He did not …

wall: left, row 19-02
∗ 1916-07-03
† 1945-01-07
KZ Schömberg, KZ Natzweiler
- Underground Press - Initial resistance - Group Smit - Heerlen -

Charles Spreksel was the son of Frans Spreksel, a builder, and Agnes Schepens. Since his demobilization he worked as chief window dresser at the Schunck department store in …

wall: left, row 19-03
∗ 1914-07-24
† 1942-09-17
- Initial resistance - Group Smit - Voerendaal -

The parental home of Theo (Theodorus Gerardus Johannes Peter) Treuen stood at Maasstraat 43 in Steyl. He worked in the butcher shop Leenders in Voerendaal and during the pre-war mobilization he was …

wall: right, row 35-05
∗ 1918-11-10
† 1945-02-23
- Underground Press - Initial resistance - Group Smit - Heerlen -

Lambertus Arnoldus Vlemmings was a former soldier and after his demobilization by the Germans in 1940 parcel deliveryman at Van Gend & Loos. At the beginning of the war, he distributed …
wall: left, row 19-04