Brunssum dressing cubicles

The Netherlands




The dressing cubicles at the old swimming pool on Brunssum Heath have a historical past. Hardly anyone knows that Jewish children were hidden here in 1943.

On 7 November 1943, a policeman warned a group of Jewish children's helpers in Brunssum that a raid could happen at any moment. An important member of the resistance who was well informed about the local assistance to Jews had just been arrested. If he broke, the worst could be expected.

In great haste, 25 Jewish children who were most vulnerable were collected from their foster parents and taken to the natural swimming pool on Brunssum Heath in the middle of the night. They wore extra warm clothes and carried woollen blankets, as there was a freezing cold wind. The entrance to the swimming pool was forced open and the doors to the dressing cubicles were taken off their hinges and covered with straw to be used as beds. Sleeping was impossible, however.

It was unbearable there, and after two days they moved to a space under the floor of a gymnasium and a smaller shelter behind the organ of the Reformed Church in Treebeek. It was an emergency solution, because most foster parents did not want to take the children back out of fear. The group of about twenty children under the floor of the room quickly started suffering from scabies and fleas. Eventually, they were able to move to the fenced and guarded water pumping station of the State Mines. Since the arrested resistance fighter did not reveal anything and the dreaded raid did not happen, the fear subsided after a few months and the children could once again be placed with foster families.

In 2020, an intention was expressed in Brunssum to do up the dressing cubicles and preserve them as war monuments.


Ouverbergstraat 2, 6445 PC Brunssum