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Remains of Smilde resistance leader traced to mass grave


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

HEILOO It took 66 years but concerned friends finally brought home the remains of a Dutch resistance man who perished in a German concentration camp in 1944. Bertus de Raaf was serving as the leader of a small resistance commando group in the Drenthe village of Smilde when arrested by the Germans. His biographer Vincent van de Vrede is elated that De Raaf could be buried next to his favourite brother in the North Holland village of Heiloo. With the help of the German authorities, friends, including former camp mates, went looking for information in Lerbeck where De Raaf was discovered in a mass grave. A small group attented a commemorative ceremony at Kamp Amersfoort before the reburial in Heiloo took place. About 200 people gathered at the reburial site.