Henk van Diepen (Gerardus Hendrikus)
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Gerardus Hendrikus van Diepen is not (yet?) listed on a wall of the chapel.
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Henk van Diepen
(Gerardus Hendrikus)


 21-04-1901 Grubbenvorst      21-06-1945 Lübeck (44)
- People in hiding - Forced Labor - Helden -



Oorlogsgravenstichting

    Henk van Diepen was an agricultural worker. [1#5]
    He lived in Helden [1#3] and was also in hiding there. The SiPo Maastricht knew that the resistance in Helden was strong and wanted to stop that. Cammaert writes about this:
    In addition to the two mentioned above, the Sipo chief appointed three landwachters (Dutch nazi auxiliar police), H. Boere, H.J. Lebbink and J.G. Roseboom, to pose as people in hiding. Lebbink knew the area well enough. The trio set to work in the week of May 7. They were more successful than Schut and Meyers. They found out a lot about the local organization. Early on Wednesday morning, May 17, 1944, more than one hundred German soldiers, members of the Ordnungspolizei from Roermond, the almost complete SiPo-Maastricht and the five infiltrators made their way to Helden and arrested fifty-two persons. Thirty-five disappeared into camps in the Netherlands and Germany. Seven of them did not survive the war or died shortly after: A.M. Schilte (Sachsenhausen, 15. November 1944), Th.J. Kranen (Venray, November 29, 1946), G.H. van Diepen (Lübeck, June 21, 1945), Willem Lenis (Schwarmstedt, 15. September 1944), the mayor of Helden Frans van Cann (Bergen-Belsen, March 31, 1945), the chief of the Helden police Alphons van der Mullen (Bergen-Belsen, May 31, 1945) and L. van Lee (Neustadt, May 3, 1945). [2]

    After his arrest, Henk remained in Amersfoort concentration camp until October 11, 1944. He arrived in Neuengamme on October 14, 1944. There he was held in the main camp in Hamburg and in the Meppen-Versen subcamp. [3][4]
    From November 1944, prisoners from Neuengamme had to work in Meppen-Versen in brickworks, clay pits and peat extraction since November 1944. The Dutch Wikipedia says the following about this camp: Until March 1945, the Meppen-Versen camp remained a satellite of this concentration camp. As the Allies approached the camp, the remaining prisoners were led on foot via Meppen, Cloppenburg, Bremen and Hamburg to Neuengamme. The seriously ill and those unable to walk were taken by truck to Farge near Bremen. The 40 most seriously ill were shot on the spot. [4]

    According to the municipality, Henk eventually died of starvation. [1#5]
    This was almost two months after the liberation of Lübeck on May 2, 1945, so we can assume that he died in hospital as a result of starvation.
    He is buried in the Dutch field of honor Lübeck, block 37 no. 3B25. [5]

    Footnotes

    1. Archief Oorlogsgravenstichting (@ Nationaal archief),
      Dossier Henk van Diepen • #3#5
    2. 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.602
    3. vriendenkringneuengamme.nl Gerardus Hendrikus van Diepen
    4. Stalag VI B Versen, Wikipedia • NederlandsDeutschEnglish
    5. Oorlogsgravenstichting.nl