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Weeren van, Gerrit Abraham (Engels)

  • Born 07-07-1909 in Amsterdam.
  • Deceased 27-09-1944 in Weerselo, executed at Twente airport – 35 years.
  • Parents Gerrit Abraham van Weeren, diamantworker, and Catharina Everdina Fleijsman.

Gerrit was the youngest of a family of four children, his mother died in 1914 and his father in 1935. He had a relationship with the Jewish Mina Dingsdag. Gerrit himself was Dutch Reformed. His last known address was Tilanusstraat 82 III in Amsterdam.

He worked as an office clerk at a tobacco office and since 1934 a member of the SDAP (Social Democratic Workers Party), later he joined the CPN (Communist Party of the Netherlands) and became a district administrator of the CPN/SDAP Jordaan department. During the war, until the February strike of 1941, he was mainly involved in the leadership of De Waarheid in Amsterdam, and also as a courier and forger of identity papers, among other things. He made many attempts to establish contacts between socialists and communists. He was one of the organizers of the February Strike in Amsterdam, intended as a protest against the treatment of Jewish citizens. This strike spread over large parts of the country, but was eventually brutally suppressed by the Germans. Gerrit managed to escape, but he had to go into hiding. Initially he went into hiding in Amsterdam, continuing his resistance work there.

After about a year it was advisable to go into hiding a little further from home and so he ended up in Overijssel. He had been missing since September 1944, probably in Zwolle or Almelo. Until August 2022, it was unknown what had happened to him. In September and October 1944, at least 12 people were shot at Twente airport. Possibly more, but their bodies were never found. It was not until three years later in September 1947 that these 12 bodies were found near the bunkers at the airfield on the instructions of the captured S.D.-chief Schöber. Their death was credited to Enschede.

After the Local History Association of the municipality of Weerselo was made aware at the end of 2019 that this part of the airfield was then Weerselo’s territory, further research was carried out with the intention of adding them to the monument to the war victims of the municipality of Dinkelland and the site in question. to add. The identity of 11 people was already known, one victim remained unknown despite the necessary detective work. A description had been distributed from 1947, in which his short height of 1.68 m. was particularly striking. Until recently, however, this yielded nothing.

The Weerselo local history association built a monument for them in Deurningen near the airport, which was unveiled on October 8, 2021 in the presence of various relatives of the victims. The search for the unknown victim, buried at the Rusthof cemetery in Amersfoort, continued. Further information was found in the National Archives, which ultimately resulted in the name Gerrit van Weeren. In August, after DNA testing by the Royal Netherlands Army (BIDKL) Bergings- en Identification Service (BIDKL), we received confirmation that it was indeed Gerrit van Weeren. With which the hitherto unknown victim finally has a name.

Research shows the following: In September 1944, a new group of the Sipo (Sicherheitspolizei) arrived in Almelo, which very fanatically hunted people from the resistance. On Sunday, September 24, two people were arrested by this Sipo on Bornschestraat during an intensive street check. It concerned 24-year-old Jan van Drunen from Bussum and an unknown, not too tall man. Jan van Drunen was affiliated with the CPN and active in De Waarheid. He attempted to flee during the arrest and was shot dead. The other person was arrested and taken to the station. A witness to this arrest, also known to Jan van Drunen, stated that he had done everything possible to find out the identity of the other man, but that he had not succeeded. It became known to him that this person would also be active in the communist resistance and that he came from Amsterdam. In connection with the transfer of this Sipo group elsewhere, the unknown person was transferred a few days later to the Dienststelle of the S.D. in Enschede. When he was delivered there he had a blanket wrapped around his head and shoulders, presumably to hide the traces of abuse suffered.

On September 27, he was released from the S.D. in Enschede, together with five Jewish victims, taken to Twente airport. Here they were shot on the spot and buried in a bomb crater.

Buried: Rusthof Amersfoort cemetery in Leusden, section RO, row 12 no. 21

Monument in Deurningen next to the airport.

A new tombstone with his name will be placed at the Rusthof Amersfoort. The name of Gerrit van Weeren will also be added to the monument in Deurningen. After all these years finally a name and clarity for his family!