The Netherlands / Monument
On the liberation day of Banholt, 13 September 1944, another joyful event took place in the village. A resistance plaque was unveiled in memory of the resistance work of sexton-organist Pierre Coenen, among others. This was an unveiling in the double sense of the word, because hardly anyone had any knowledge of Coenen's war secret.
Pierre Coenen and his brothers, the most famous of whom is Sjeng, who was shot on the Cauberg in Valkenburg, played a leading role in the resistance movement in the Gulpen-Simpelveld region.
Early in the war, they became involved in helping French-speaking prisoners of war who had escaped from German internment camps. Later, these PoWs were joined by allied pilots, people in hiding, and all kinds of refugees. Pierre received the prisoners of war from his brothers in Simpelveld and a liaison officer in Gulpen. He put them up in the coal cellar of the parish house, after which he accompanied them to Belgium with the help of a resistance group in Slenaken and handed them over to Belgian contact persons.