Haelen is located northwest of Roermond, between the river Maas and the Peel. At that time, the Peel was much more sparsely populated swamp and heath land. Around Haelen itself, there was also more forest than there is today. For the resistance it was an ideal area to bring people there who were sought by the Germans. They were usually housed in isolated farms. Often this was only temporary until they were taken across the border to Belgium. These were French-speaking prisoners of war who had escaped from Germany, Jews, and crews of crashed Allied planes. The Dutch who had gone into hiding remained in the region. Most of them had gone into hiding because they did not want to go to Germany to replace German men in the war industry. The Vossen and Simmelink families mentioned below were active in this area and therefore knew each other.
For the Germans, of course, this area was a hotbed of resistance, which they could not eradicate despite some successes. It was also an area where there was a large-scale hunt for manpower for the German war industry, especially towards the end of the war. Especially - but not only - young peasant sons and other workers were of course very welcome. Pierre Caris and Jacob Hüskens, mentioned below, fell victim to this.
See also Between Maas and PeelAll the fallen resistance people in Limburg
Haelen – 4 pers.
KZ Mittelbau-Dora (Buchenwald)
| - Haelen - Forced Labor - Unorganized resistance - Pierre Caris was a car mechanic.On April 16, 1943, he was forced to work in Germany by the regional labor office in Roermond. Later he ended up in concentration camp Dora. His …|
wall: left, row 12-03
| - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Haelen - Forced Labor - Born in Rheindahlen near Mönchen-Gladbach (Germany). He was a motorist and member of the LO in Horn. Horn was initially independent and belonged to Haelen from 1991-2007. Now they …|
This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.04-14
Karel Herman Hendrik
Jan v.d. Plas
| - Haelen - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Ordedienst (O.D.) - People in hiding - Karel Simmelink was a primary school teacher [1#1] at the Paredis School in Roermond. Joseph Johannes Wilhelmus Simmelink, Karel’s father, was headmaster of the same …|
wall: left, row 12-04
| - Haelen - People in hiding - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Piet Vossen was a farmer at the Spikkerhoeve. When he and his siblings were little children, their mother died and their father married her sister Antonia Hubertina Salimans on August 16, …|
wall: left, row 12-05