Miet Pauw, a resistance woman murdered



During the war, Maria Verhoeven ran a textile shop on Oosteinde, in the centre of Baarle-Hertog. However, 'Miet Pauw', as she was better known, did more than sell yarn and fabric.

During World War I, Miet had already helped Belgian refugees to escape to the neutral Netherlands. In World War II, she found herself in Resistance again. She helped young men who wanted to escape compulsory labour in Germany to find a hiding address, as well as helping Jews in hiding, and downed British and American pilots. Therefore, she was an important link in a network smuggling refugees from the Netherlands to Belgium and France.

Few villagers knew that Miet Pauw was in the resistance. Even most of her eight children she kept in the dark. When here son, Fons, sees English-language graffiti on their toilet one day, Miet says dryly that the smugglers who come into the shop cannot write Dutch properly!

The last weeks of the war were fatal for Miet. Little did she know that the German forces have been infiltrating her escape network for some time. As the Allies approach, they decide to roll up the network. On 9 September 1944, soldiers raid her shop. They arrest Miet, Geert Gerritsen and Adriaan Van Gestel, Dutch Marechaussees (Royal Military Constabulary) who were also active in the escape line and were hiding with her. The three were deported to Breda and executed there by German forces the next morning.

Tourist information:,

Cycling routes

Tourism Province of Antwerp has created liberation routes along the cycle junction network. You can cycle and walk past the places where it all happened, for example monuments, military cemeteries and crash sites. For the liberation routes, go to