The Netherlands / Monument

Memorial tomb of Rector Jan Hendrix




Jan Hendrix and his cousin, curate Gerard Hermkens, were arrested on 17 December 1944. Both were killed in Germany in February 1945 as a result of acts of war.

Jan Hendrix had been a priest of the Rectory of Brachterbeek from 1927. After the evacuation of Maasbracht on 7 November 1944, Hendrix found shelter with his cousin and member of the resistance curate Gerard Hermkens in Montfort. There, the two decided to walk through the front line to the liberated area with dozens of civilians on 16 December. An extremely risky venture that failed. Back in Montfort, the two cousins were betrayed and arrested by the occupying forces on 17 December, on charges of providing assistance in an attempt to pass through the front line. They ended up in Cologne prison and then in Buchenwald concentration camp. On 8 February 1945, they were seriously injured in a bombing on a factory near the camp where they had to perform forced labour. Hendrix succumbed to his injuries a day later, and Hermkens more than a week later. Hendrix's mortal remains remained in Germany and are not in his memorial tomb in Brachterbeek.