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


Netwerk Bongaerts

Charles Bongaerts

The Network Bongaerts was more than just the group of firefighters and members of the OD with whom Charles Bongaerts worked on a daily basis. It began, as with all early resistance groups, with help for prisoners of war who had fled Germany. Later, other refugees such as Jews came in as well. Bongaerts was one of the founders of the Ordedienst in the eastern coalmining district. He built an active resistance group within the OD and the fire department, of which he was the commander. They planned and carried out various acts of sabotage, especially in the mines where some members of the group worked, such as Harrie Tobben (mine police). The refugees were transported by the ambulance of the fire department and by the cab of E. Heinen from Heerlen. At one point their truck broke down on the way with three Allied "pilots" on board. They stopped a German army convoy to have it repaired. (Biography of Jo Bongaerts) The sole survivor of an Allied plane crash, Bongaerts was seriously injured, put into a firefighter’s uniform and taken past the Germans to the hospital in Heerlen, where he came under the care of surgeon Karel van Berckel.
Bongaerts’ people brought the refugees to, among others, the Group Dresen in Maastricht, who sent them to, among others, the Gruppe Erkens, from whom they were taken across the Belgian border. They also had connections with Pater Beatus, who in turn had connections to the southern edge of Limburg.
Bongaerts and Tobben coordinated where the refugees were to be picked up and brought to. This could be anywhere in the province, but also in North Brabant, Nijmegen, and even Apeldoorn. As of June 1943, the Limburg lines were all connected to the Belgian branches of the Comet line to Spain (see Section II.2.).
The widely ramified England game was also the undoing of Bongaerts’ network.

All the fallen resistance people in Limburg

Netwerk Bongaerts – 6 pers.

Charles M.H.J.
∗ 1909-08-07
† 1944-11-23
KZ Ladelund, KZ Neuengamme
- Underground Press - Police - Ordedienst (O.D.) - Netwerk Bongaerts - Initial resistance - Heerlen -

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 …

wall: left, row 16-01
∗ 1891-04-28
† 1945-02-13
Natzweiler, Außenkommando Daut
- Initial resistance - - Dutch-Paris -

Jean was registered at the civil registry as Johannes Michael and grew up in Schin-op-Geul. He was employed by the French railway company Wagons Lits and he was, with the help of his entire family, …

This person is not (yet?) listed on the walls of the chapel.01-02
∗ 1923-01-13
† 1943-03-29
- Initial resistance - Group Smit - Heerlen - Dutch-Paris -

Joseph Jean Elise Janssen was an office employee of a mine [1.1], a member of the Smits group and of the international resistance group and escape line Dutch-Paris [2], as were his …

wall: left, row 15-05
Megen, van
Joseph Hubertus
∗ 1916-12-09
† 1945-04-05
Dohnsen, D
- Underground Press - Broekhuizen - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Netwerk Bongaerts -

Sef van Megen became a teacher in Grashoek near Helden in 1935 and then in Broekhuizen from 1937. He was beloved by the children. From 1941 he helped prisoners of war, Allied pilots and Jews to …

wall: left, row 05-01
Peter Antonius Joseph
∗ 1916-06-20
† 1947-06-24
- Broekhuizen - Aid to People in Hiding L.O. - Intelligence - Netwerk Bongaerts -

Toon Peeters, popularly known as blacksmith Toontje, was a blacksmith and bicycle dealer. [1]
Cammaert writes about him:
In Broekhuizen and Broekhuizenvorst the …
wall: left, row 04-05
Hendricus Hubertus
∗ 1917-08-24
† 1945-03-15
Hameln (D
- Underground Press - Initial resistance - Ordedienst (O.D.) - Police - Heerlen - Intelligence - Netwerk Bongaerts - -

Harry Tobben was a former soldier and after his demobilization by the Germans in 1940 member of the mine police. Was involved, among other things, in acts of sabotage in the Oranje-Nassau Mine I …

wall: left, row 19-05