Sylvester Berden
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Sylvester Berden is listed in the Resistance Memorial on the
left wall, row 13 #02

Limburg 1940-1945,
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All the fallen resistance people in Limburg


Sylvester Berden

 02-09-1919 Den Haag      07-11-1944 Kessel (25)
- Ondergrondse pers - Studenten - People in hiding - Heel-Panheel - Intelligence -


    Sylvester Willem Jerome Maria Martin Berden was a law student and during the German invasion he was a drafted sergeant at the Grebbeberg. See funeral card [1] and [7]
    In 1943 he and his younger brother Joost went into hiding in a monastery in Heel. They began publishing the Daalzichtse Berichten Dienst (D.B.D.) on September 6, 1944, the day after Dolle Dinsdag. Dr. Cammaert wrote a paragraph about this underground paper [2]: “The two, sons of an editor of the daily newspaper De Tijd, came from Amsterdam. Because of the beautiful view of the Meuse valley from the local monastery where they were hiding, they named the newspaper Daalzichtse Berichten Dienst, Valley View News Service. Sylvester typed out the news from the allied radio stations and Joost pulled the D.B.D. in a run of two hundred copies. The radio came from W.H. Heber in Heel. The spirit-duplicator [3], typewriter and other equipment had been stolen from the town hall, where an NSB comrade was in charge. At first, the daily leaflet was pasted everywhere, but this was soon abandoned because the village was swarming with Germans. Since then, residents of Heel … distributed the paper in the region.
    When the Allies approached at the end of October, Sylvester Berden, in cooperation with Rector Schaeken, mapped the German positions. He radioed the most important data to the Allies. From time to time he had them delivered by dogs. That this information was useful to the Allies was shown by the fact that the British, who had taken up positions southwest of the canal from Wessem to Nederweert, repeatedly shelled the German positions with great precision.” This, of course, attracted attention, and “on Sunday, November 5, a group of fifty German paratroopers surrounded the monastery.” In Sylvester Berden’s room at the monastery, the paratroopers found two radios, typed intelligence reports, and detailed sketches of German fighting positions in the area. They concluded that he must be the dreaded spy. After severe maltreatment, he was executed at Kessel-Eijk on November 7, 1944.
    At you can read some issues of the DBD. [4] More information about this local underground newspaper can be found at wikipedia NL. [8]
    He is listed in the “Erelijst 1940-1945” (Honor Roll of the Dutch Parliament). [5]

    Reburied on the National Field of Honor in Loenen, grave E-472 [6]


    2. Cammaert, Het Verborgen Front, XI Illegale pers, pp.1090 ff.
    3. Wikipedia • stencilapparaatMatritzendruckerspirit duplicatorduplicateur à alcool duplicador a álcool
    5. Erelijst 1940-1945
    6. Nationaal Ereveld Loenen, oorlogsmonumenten
      Wikipedia • NederlandsDeutsch
    8. Wikipedia NL: D.B.D.