Bernhardus Johannes Baars <i>(Bernhard “Jacques”)</i>
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Bernhardus Johannes Baars is listed in the Resistance Memorial on the
right wall, row 39 #01

Limburg 1940-1945,
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The fallen resistance people in Limburg


Bernhardus Johannes Baars (Bernhard “Jacques”)

 20-10-1913 Rotterdam      27-04-1945 Bergen-Belsen (31)
- The clergy - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Wittem -

Het Grote Gebod – L.O.

    Father Bernhard Baars C.s.s.R. lived in the Redemptorist monastery in Wittem. [1]
    He was the subdistrict leader of the LO-Wittem, which belonged to the district of Gulpen. The district meetings took place alternately in the house of the Sisters of Charity [2] in Gulpen, in the convent of the Redemptorist Fathers in Wittem and in the convent of the Franciscan Sisters in Nijswiller. He was arrested at the Strike of Wittem on 21 July 1944.
    A more detailed account of these events can be found in Het verborgen front. [3]
    He was buried in a mass grave in Bergen-Belsen. [4#2]

    In a bitter letter to the Oorlogsgravenstichting (War Graves Foundation) dated January 13, 1958, Father Baars’ father complained about the confiscation of his son’s inheritance:
    Now our reverend son had about ƒ 4700 in his account with Gillissen in Amsterdam, from which I could receive during ten years … statements and interest, until at some point Rijksherstel claimed everything and left me not even a small compensation for all the costs and care, let alone for the loss of our son. [4#3]
    He was probably referring to the Nederlands Volksherstel foundation (NVH; 1944-1948) an overarching aid organization to "promote the mental and physical rehabilitation" of Dutch people who had fallen on hard times as a result of the Second World War. [5]
    This is reminiscent of the confiscation of two inheritances in Valkenburg: that of the murdered Jewish couple Soesman-Horn on the grounds that it was enemy property (Emma Horn had German nationality), and that which the Valkenburg resistance fighter Van Ogtrop and his wife had inherited from her German parents. In all these cases, the heirs who were thus aggrieved had to make do with a meagre pension or less, while the government tried to make a good impression on other victims with the confiscated money. Read the story: Vultures after World War II – How a small country can be even smaller, written by resistance fighter Jules from Heerlen.
    Bernhardus Johannes ( Bernhard “Jacques” ) Baars is listed in the Erelijst 1940-1945 (Honor Roll of the Dutch Parliament). [6]


    1. Redemptoristenklooster Wittem, Wikipedia • NederlandsDeutsch
    2. Wikipedia • Zusters van LiefdeSisters of CharityFilles de la charité
    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
    4. Archief Oorlogsgravenstichting (@ Nationaal archief),
      Dossier Bernhard J. Baars • #2#3
    5. Nederlands Volksherstel
    6. Erelijst 1940-1945