Paesi Bassi / Monumento

Boulder for steadfast resistance



Indicazioni stradali

Only a bronze plaque today tells passers-by that a bolder along the Stationsweg in Zuidlaren has a story to tell. It is thanks to an eyewitness that the bolder serves as a permanent warning that we must not start thinking that liquidations are normal.

A boulder on Stationsweg marks the spot where the Grüne Polizei shot dead two resistance fighters. A bronze plaque lists their names: Jan ten Cate and Carel Frederik Kwant. Both were from Meppel and were imprisoned in the Noorder Sanatorium a little way away. J. van der Velde saw it all happen on that day on 3 August 1943. Their bodies remained lying there all day. Intended as a deterrent. 

Their deaths were the provisional end of a series of events, which began on 31 July with the liquidation of NSB member Willem Reilingh. Two gunshots fired by resistance fighters ended his operations along the Esweg between Midlaren and Zuidlaren. It was feared that Reilingh would pass on information about the resistance. It was a dangerous course of action as reprisals were bound to follow. It was therefore a decision fraught with mixed feelings, but it had to be done.  

Seven Zuidlaarders were arrested when the liquidation became known. They would certainly have been sentenced to death by the Polizeistandgericht in Assen if the perpetrators had not been caught. But thanks in part to Ms Reilingh, the seven were freed. 

Jan ten Cate and Carel Frederik Kwant, two Meppel resistance fighters, were shot in retaliation at the spot where the memorial stone now stands.   

As a key witness, Van der Velde had to give evidence at the Main Tribunal in Groningen five years after the war. One of the two accused officers from the Grüne Polizei was handed an 18-year sentence as a result. The second suspect could not be found. 

The two boulders that Van der Velde had initially placed on the spot in honour of the two killed resistance fighters were moved one day by the municipality due to works. Van der Velde was not impressed by that and he stated: "Soon no one will know the meaning of these boulders." Van der Velde found a willing ear in the form of Mr A. Snippe, chairman of the CDA parliamentary group on the municipal council. A new boulder was put in place in the original spot. A bronze plaque serves as a tribute to those who perished in Meppel, but also to keep alive the memory of the horrors of war.