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Epens resistance

Opgeblazen Geulbrug bij Epen (Limburg) - mei 1940 - A.J.A. Rikkert - Collectie NIOD 65155

Bericht aan Hare Majesteit

Rosalie Sprooten

Uitgeverij Coenen, Simpelveld 1991


Rosalie Sprooten describes the resistance in southern Limburg based on interviews with people in and around her native village of Epen. It took her two-and-a-half years. “It is war history on the square kilometre,” as she says of her “Message to Her Majesty”.

It is precisely this small-scale approach that makes the book so captivating. Moreover, Sprooten has a good sense of detail and a particularly lucid writing style. “Oral history” of the highest order: taken up just in time, because soon the eyewitnesses will have died. The stories now fit together like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Anyone familiar with the region and the mentality of the people will find many points of recognition.


In Bericht aan Hare Majesteit, Sprooten deals with the rounding up of the leaders of the resistance of the Circle-Gulpen of the National Organisation (LO) during “the Battle of Wittem”. That raid by the SD would result in ten prominent South Limburgers ending up in concentration camps including chaplain Houben. Of them, only two returned alive.