Charles M.H.J. Bongaerts
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All the fallen resistance people in Limburg


Charles M.H.J. Bongaerts

 1909-08-07 Venlo      1944-11-23 KZ Ladelund, KZ Neuengamme (35)
- Heerlen - O.D. - initial resistance - underground press - Netw. Bongaerts - police -


Het Grote Gebod – K.P.

      Married to Trees (Theresa) Dahmen. In 1940 Charles was a reserve officer in the Dutch army and during the five day battle of the Netherlands he fought on the so called “Grebbenberg Line”, that the Dutch army held to the very end, repulsing heavy assaults from the German forces. After this, Charles Bongaerts was the head of the fire service in Heerlen, center of the coal mining area and this gave him access to vehicles which enabled him to play a prominent part in the underground resistance. They put up airmen in their home and transported them south on the long journey to England via Belgium, France and Gibraltar or Switzerland. On one occasion Charles Bongaerts stopped a German convoy and, claiming to be on urgent business, got a mechanic to repair his vehicle while three American airmen were in the back. Source Joseph Marie Phillipe Bongaerts DFC, FC, OHK1
      Before the war, he used to be a journalist at the daily newspaper Limburgsch Dagblad in Heerlen. Together with some others, he founded the resistance newspaper Het Vrije Volk (The Free People), not to be confused with the same-named post-war newspaper. It was directed mainly at miners and was very well informed, because they had their people everywhere, even at the SiPo in Maastricht! (Cammaert XI, p. 1077).
      His group was infiltrated in 1944 (Englandspiel), Charles was betrayed too and died in a German concentration camp on the 23 November 1944.

    wall: left, row 16 #01