Twee soorten Duitsers?

Duitse mijnwerkers in Nederlandse steenkolenmijnen 1944-1949


  • Annet Schoot Uiterkamp


Two kinds of Germans? German miners in Dutch coalmines, 1944-1949
Archival research demonstrates that after the liberation of South Limburg, German miners were immediately discharged from the Dutch coal mines and sometimes also imprisoned. These were Reich Germans, people with German nationality, who had in many cases been living in the Netherlands for a long time and were often married there as well. Also, cross-border work, commuting back and forth from Germany, was no longer allowed. Due to a lack of workers, the mine managers soon tried to get the dismissed people back to work. This was not possible until mid-1946 and not without serious difficulties. In these discussions about reintegration and employment, a distinction was made between ‘bona fide’ and ‘non-bona fide’ Germans. In order to be declared ‘bona fide’, the Reich Germans had to prove that they had not joined the German army during the war and had not sent their children to German schools. ‘Non-bona fide’ Germans were not allowed to return to their original mines but were employed in a limited number of mines, in designated pillars, separated from the Dutch workers. Considering the anti-German attitude during the immediate post-war period the number of Germans who worked in the mines during the first years after the liberation was relatively small.
Compared to Dutch political delinquents voluntarily employed in the mines, Germans were treated more harshly. They were paid 10 percent less than free or detained miners and were initially not entitled to tobacco coupons. It took until 1949 for this discriminatory treatment ended. Thereafter Germans were treated as ordinary employees again in many respects. Cross-border work also got off to a slow start. Whether free miners vehemently resisted the reinstatement of Germans from 1946 onwards has not been investigated, but significant evidence for that statement has not been found.








Schoot Uiterkamp, A. (2024). Twee soorten Duitsers? Duitse mijnwerkers in Nederlandse steenkolenmijnen 1944-1949. Publications De La Société Historique Et Archéologique Dans Le Limbourg, 159, 189-212.