HARDINXVELD-GIESSENDAM – In Rotterdam today 4 The staff shipyard Merwede in Hardinxveld-Giessendam shot. The staff had downed tools. Nog eens 19 people were arrested and taken to concentration camp Vught, because the eyes of the Sicherheidsdienst 'besonderes widerspentig' (particularly defiant) to be. The village is in mourning.

The strike had begun Friday without problems. On Merwede laid whopping 400 man down work. Nog eens 65 man of Shipyard De Hoop joined there, like 110 employees N.V.. Engineering and Holland 35 people foundry Versteeg.

But that was not. Even municipal strike and the bus service between Hardinxveld-Sliedrecht was not driving - although under the operator to make more would have expected furious reactions if indeed would be driven.

labor input

It all starts with an unexpected announcement in newspaper Thursday that all former Dutch soldiers must voluntarily Report for captivity. They are in Germany employed in the war industry.

The so-called labor input would almost 300 thousand men to leave their families to meet in Germany get started. That never, thinking them directly at machine factory Stork Hengelo, true 3000 workers down tools. Then spread the strike as a spot by the Netherlands. Alone counted in England there are strikes in 12 municipalities.

A resistance group from Dordrecht Thursday already sends through train pamphlets around to stop work to call people and also to protest against the German plan. And so covered that very evening strike call on the platform of station-Giessendam Neder-Hardinxveld. A day later the river village is substantially flat.


The Germans are surprised by the extent of the strikes in the Netherlands. Possibly that's why they do not intervene at the first strike. But then the authorities find wells. On Saturday comes "Kriminalsekretär 'J.W.. Hoffmann of Sicherheitsdienst in Rotterdam to Hardinxveld and requires the companies list of strikers.

Sunday appears under the viaduct on a Nieuweweg placard hanging showing the call to continue strike. Then pick the Germans mayor Klaas de Boer Hardinxveld from church and give him to understand that blood will flow if the strike continues.

The Farmer Wants same Sunday contact with the directors of the companies is discontinued. Among other director Joost van der The web of Merwede let his staff know what threatens. But it does not help. Monday remain many employees. Thereupon, the management of the take Merwede the legs.

robbery Cars

Hoffmann now runs through the village with police vans. He comes first in the engineering, where director Caljé him know off powder. If the SD-chef at the Merwede arrives, there still seem some workers have arrived. in hand with the list of strikers arrested Hoffmann there 19. Four others than just arriving be arrested on accusation 'strike, instigation to, distribution of pamphlets and other agitation. "

The four were arrested last directly brought to the office of Hoffmann in Rotterdam. They get the same evening the bullet. Being Cornelis Willem de Cook (1889), Cornelis van der molding (1904), Dirk Loever (1909) and Jan Willem de Blaey (1914). The other imprisoned workers are brought to Vught.

How it went:

The four strikers had their execution a farewell letter may write, but their death is faster announced on the yard than the letters are delivered to the family.

The strikes lasted only a few days. The Germans were first surprised, but smote rapidly hard. were in the Netherlands 80 executed strikers. Nog eens 95 people were killed by shelling between strikers and the occupier. also touched 400 people injured. If we also people count which died later in prison camps exhaustion it will be 200 doden.

Not only the retaliation caused the strike on 3 mei 1943 ended. Factor was that the strike does not generally became. So the NS continued driving and doing business in major cities not count.

Besides companies farmers also participated in the protests the Labor. They supplied milk to zuivelfabriken and shared their milk free to the citizens. Here and there they left the milk also on the pastures walk.

The Germans saw Radio Orange as an instigator of the strikes. Op 13 mei 1943 told the Dutch that they their had to hand radios. Anyone who did not, had to go to a concentration camp.

Plaque for the executed members of Merwede Shipyard. Op 11 september 1944 came another eleven people when the site was bombed.


P.J. Bouman, The April-May strikes 1943 (1950), m.n. p. 160-162 en 450

Wikipedia – April-meistakingen

Verzetsmuseum – April-Mei staking

Rotterdamsch newspaper – 04-05-1943 – Announcement of death sentences4

Historical Society Hardinxveld-Giessendam – war memories (will. p 32)

Author: Aries van Meeteren

published: 09 maart 2019

story number: 86

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