The Netherlands / Story
Since the official establishment of the Dutch National Socialist Movement NSB in 1932, Valkenburg had a remarkable number of members and sympathisers. In the mid-1930s, when the movement reached the height of its popularity, the town on the river Geul boasted some two hundred members. The NSB used the popular and visually attractive location to organise large demonstrations where thousands of supporters from all over the country gathered.
Valkenburg was ideally placed to receive and accommodate large groups of visitors because of its good tourist infrastructure. One month before the liberation, on 15 August 1944, party leader Mussert visited this town for the last time. The NSB leader gave a speech to about 3,500 supporters in the packed Open Air Theatre in Valkenburg.
The Nazi past never entirely left Valkenburg. Not only because of the relatively large number of NSB and SS members, but also because departments of National Socialist organisations such as the Bund Deutscher Mädel, the Hitlerjugend, and the Weer Afdeling (WA) of the NSB, a Dutch version of the German SA, were located there during the occupation period. A Reichsschule was also established in the former Jesuit monastery. Young (Dutch) pupils at this elite school, which was strongly influenced by the SS, were trained to take up leading positions in the Great Germanic Reich. Around two hundred young people attended classes there until the beginning of September 1944.
Plenkertstraat 51a, 6301 GL Valkenburg