See: Beek (memorial)
House No. 3 at Kloostersteeg in Beek has an interesting history. Before the war, a flat in the attic of this house was rented by a German named, Frits Linke, who worked in the Netherlands. In 1940, after Germany invaded the Netherlands, Linke was drafted and became a Wehrmacht soldier. He deserted and remained in hiding in a pithouse covered with turf near Roggel.
On May 16, 1944, when the Germans knocked on the home of Josef Franz, known as “Mannella” in the Gypsy language, his Dutch wife Agnes stopped them long enough for Sinto Manela to escape through the window. He hid in the attic of the house at Kloostersteeg 3. Later, he was joined by his wife and two children. That is how they survived the war.
The building was to be demolished a few years ago, when the nearby area was bought by Jan Linders supermarket. However, the local architectural office prepared a design that enabled the building to be preserved. Moreover, according to those plans a mural was placed on the house to commemorate both survivors, who had received a death sentence: the German, Frits Linke and the Sinti, Mannella Franz.
Description of commemoration
The mural on the building at Kloostersteeg 3 is a painting that is very simple in its form. It shows the outline of a tree on which a German helmet was hung and from which a white bird flies away. The helmet may symbolise Frits Linke, a deserter, but it can also depict a ceasefire by the German occupier. A white bird that is flying away is probably Mannel Franz, who finally experienced freedom after the war, but a white bird can also mean freedom for all the enslaved in the Netherlands.
- Text in Dutch on a white background:
Uit het zolderraam van dit huis ontkwam de Sinti Mannela Franz. / Zijn leven werd gered door de Duitser Frits Linke.
Sinto Mannela Franz escaped through the window in the attic of this house. His life was saved by the German Frits Linke..
- Text in Dutch on the bricks on the left:
16 mei 1944. / razzia op zigeuners.
May 16, 1944. Razzia (Raid) against the Gypsies.
Date of the unveiling
Miasto Beek, Wehrung-studioPAS Architecten
Kloostersteeg 3, 6191 KS Beek, The Netherlands
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