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Limburg 1940-1945,
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1940-1945. The resistance in the dutch province of Limburg



tracesofwar Wittem

Liberated: 1944-09-15

Father B.J. Baars, the head of the Wittem subdistrict of the LO, was the victim of an infiltration in the military hospital in his monastery by a German sergeant, a certain Lambertz from Aachen, who stated that he wanted to desert because he was such a good Christian. At first he was possibly even sincere about it. This infiltration was followed, on July 21, 1944, by a wave of arrests that would soon be called the “Strike of Wittem”: P. Horbach, H.J.D. Hamers, J.M.W. Bisschoff, Father Baars, J.H. van Houtem, Ortmans, the brothers E.A.H.M. and J.M.H. Merckelbach, the man in hiding G. Pirovano, the vicars P.H.H. Houben and L.M.H. Penders and two uninvolved inhabitants of Vaals. The vicars Wermeling and Franck as well as A. Noppeney escaped. J. Merckelbach and the two residents of Vaals were released after a few days. The others were transported from Maastricht to Vught on August 1 and five days later to Sachsenhausen, from where they were distributed among several camps. Only three of the ten prisoners survived the camps. The others died in Germany: H.J.D. Hamers (Oranienburg, 29-12-1944), J.M.W. Bisschoff (Buchenwald, 23-4-1945). B.J. Baars (Bergen-Belsen, 27-4-1945), J.H. van Houtem (Lübeck, 28-5-1945), L.M.H. Penders (Bergen-Belsen, 24-4-1945), P.H.H. Houben (Ludwigslust, 19-5-1945) and E.A.H.M. Merckelbach (Neuengamme, 15-1-1945).

The fallen resistance people in Limburg

Wittem – 5 pers.

Bernhardus Johannes
Bernhard “Jacques”
∗ 1913-10-20
† 1945-04-27
- The clergy - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Wittem -

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 …

wall: right, row 39-01
Hubertus Petrus Hermanus
∗ 1915-07-09
Eys, gem. Wittem
† 1945-05-19
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - The clergy - Wittem -

Hubertus Petrus Hermanus Houben was vicar in Epen and local head of the Catholic Action. [1]
Because he knew many people, he was an important link in smuggling people across the near …

wall: right, row 38-05
Houtem, van
Johannes Hubertus
Lange Sjeng
∗ 1917-06-16
† 1945-05-28
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Wittem - Local contacts -

Jan van Houtem from Wylré was an auto mechanic an there local contact person between the people in hiding, the so called divers and the subdistrict of the L.O. (local contact: duikhoofd or …
wall: right, row 39-05
Emilius Antonius Hubertus Maria
∗ 1898-03-15
† 1944-12-15
- Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Wittem -

Emile Merckelbach was a member of the Provinciale Staten (Provincial Parliament) of Limburg and chairman of the Coöperatieve Veilingvereeniging Kring Gulpen (Cooperative Auction Association …

wall: right, row 39-02
Joseph Marie Hubertus
∗ 1923-07-15
Mechelen (L)
† 1944-11-27
- Engelandvaarders - Forced Labor - Unorganized resistance - Wittem -

Jozef Wauthlé was a lathe operator. He is friends with Sjeu Wetzels from Schweiberg. They decide to go to England together in order to liberate the fatherland from there. They …
wall: right, row 39-03