118. Refugee

118. Refugee


Gildestraat 21, Holthees, The Netherlands
Keywords for this historic location
Bombing Destruction Forced migrations Occupation
Liberation Route Europe

118. Refugee

On September 27, 1944, because the Germans were expecting an Allied attack, they order the population of Overloon and the villages to the east to evacuate immediately. A stream of refugees begins. This village, Holthees, has 420 inhabitants. It provides approximately 1.500 refugees with friendly shelter. But on September 30, Holthees is also bombed. The inhabitants and the refugees are forced to move on. Among them is Jan Henckens.

Because the Germans expected an Allied attack in this region, on September 27, the order went out to evacuate the population immediately. Overloon and the villages to the east had to be evacuated within a few hours. The 3,000 evacuees sheltered in the small villages of Holthees, Maashees and Smakt.

But on September 30, the British bombed Holthees. There were 12 deaths and many wounded, with extensive damage to homes and buildings. The inhabitants of Holthees and the evacuees were forced to move on towards Venray.

Tourist information

Gildestraat 21/square in front of the school.
GPS code: 51° 34' 24.276"N 6° 0' 26.496"O

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Gildestraat 21, Holthees, The Netherlands