Poels, Bert, born in 1916, in America, South Netherlands, was one of seven children and a milkman in Horst America,
The farm of his father, Jacob, the Antonius farm, “the Zwarte Plak” “the Black Spot” became a refuge for escaped French prisoners, crashed pilots, Jewish people (see Wiesenthal) and from the spring of 1943 for English pilots, when Germany was attacked from the air frequently. They digged a large bunker underground in their garden.
Bert here with person in hiding Arnold Jacobs. The Poels family with help of other brought the hiding people to the free side of France and Spain, back to England. In the beginning the Germans had no idea what happened on this distant farm in the hamlet of “ De Zwarte Plak” , “The Black Spot” but this changed as two French prisoners were captured by the Germans near the Belgium border. One of them had the address of Poels in his pocket, but an assault in America gave no evidence. The family could hide all illegal papers and material in time.
In July 1944 the SD, Sichersdienst, German police, strike again, Bert could escape but his father died of a heart attack, running into the fields. Two brothers of Bert were imprisoned, but later released. The family Poels and Bert with his milk car saved the life of more than 35 pilots. Bert could transport his pilots in the milk car, which had a secret section. Via “De Zwarte Plak” passed a 300 pilots, 60 French prisoners, 30 Jewish people and many more who had to hide for the Gestapo, back to the save lines. Bert told his story many times after the war, but some weakened the heroic activities of the Poels family. The story and pictures are also to find in the Dutch barrack of Auschwitz. Hauptsturmführer, Josef Mengele infamous for performing human experiments on camp inmates in Auschwitz, including children, for which Mengele was called the “Angel of Death”.
Death and burial ground of Poels, Bert
The father of Poels died of a heart attack near their house, escaping for the SD men during a razzia.
and is buried on the local cemetery. I met Bert Poels several times in Horst America during the memorials for the war victims, on Mai 4th, our yearly, National Remembrance Day, and he gave me his signed biography. Bert Poels was decorated by the American Government and the Durch Government for his heroic deeds
Bert Poels retiring in Sittard died at the old age of 91, on 29-03-2007 and is buried with his wife Lies, born Schreurs, who died age 80, in 1997, on the Common Cemetery of Sittard, My wife and me attended his funeral.