Antonius Grimmelikhuijsen

born 13.12.1924 Utrecht, , the Netherlands

Profession Office clerk


Antoinius Grimmelikhuijsen was born on 13 December 1924 in Utrecht. Under German occupation, he was ordered to register for a job assignment several times. When he was threatened with the possibility that his two brothers would also be recruited in April 1943, he allowed himself to be conscripted for work in the German Reich.

First, he worked in quality control at Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke, a metal works company, in Frankfurt where propellers were manufactured. After some time, Grimmelikhuijsen began to secretly shorten the propeller blades, which soon drew suspicion of sabotage on him. He then found himself under investigation. Before the investigations could be completed, the factory was completely destroyed during a bombing. Together with three other forced workers, Antonius Grimmelikhuijsen first went to Giessen and finally to the Vereinigten Deutschen Metallwerke in Halle/Leipzig. After a successful escape, the group wanted to return to the Netherlands by train. However, due to an air raid, they had to disembark the train in Bebra and were then arrested by a railway police officer. After being briefly detained in a cell at the train station, they were brought to Guxhagen with several hundred other people. On 14 April 1944, Antoinius Grimmelikhuijsen arrived at the Breitenau "work education camp" (AEL). There, he suffered from inadequate nutrition in particular. During his four-month imprisonment, he had to travel to Wilhelmshöhe near Kassel almost daily where he removed debris from bomb craters and subsequently refilled them. He later worked in mat production in the Breitenau camp as well as on local fields harvesting flax for the production of the mats. After his release, he arrived in Torgau where he again had to work in a factory of Vereinigte Deutsche Metallwerke. After a successful escape attempt, he arrived in Hamburg in March 1945 where he experienced the liberation by the British army.

After his return to the Netherlands, Antoinius Grimmelikhuijsen married and had two daughters with his wife. Antoinius Grimmelikhuijsen had been traumatized by his time as a forced worker in Germany and began therapy. As of 1993, he received financial compensation for being forced to work in Germany. In 1995, he participated in a meeting of formerly persecuted people in the Netherlands organized by the "40–45" foundation and came across a circular from the national association of former forced workers from the Netherlands. The circular included an article on the visit of a former forced worker from the Netherlands to Breitenau Memorial. Antonius Grimmelikhuijsen then contacted and visited Breitenau Memorial. Until his death in early 2014, Antonius Grimmelikhuijsen was in very close contact with Breitenau Memorial.