All over the country people celebrate with musical festivals. Here on Whatsinatreehouse however: we're going to continue our story of yesterday.
After their marriage, Koos Vlek and Angelique Vlek-Croon moved to Maastricht. They had a hardwarestore that sold copper plumbing parts. The store ran well, and Koos and Angelique had many children, the oldest of them being my grandmother, Annie Vlek. When the depression came, the store went bankrupt, but the Croon family from Hasselt saved the hardware store, by paying for the continuation.
|Maastricht in 1940, days (or moments) before the German Invasion)|
As copper was a valuable commodity, the German troops confiscated the hardware store. Angelique and Koos did hide a large part of their copper hardware by burrying it in the forest, but after the war they never found it back. Koos Vlek was one of the dutch civilians who joined the resistance. He helped make and distribute illegal newspapers.
|Apperantly the third man on the right is my great-grandfather, Koos Vlek. |
Comparing this picture to other seems to confirm that, but I have no idea when or what he
was doing in the army
It's a well known story what happened to collaborator's women. These where either wives of collaborators, women who slept with collaborators or Germans, or females who had worked for the Germans themselves. When the German army fled, the civilians took revenge on these women by shaving them bald and parading them through the streets. Although I learned this in history class, I never saw a picture of this untill I found these pictures, taken by Annie or Angelique.
|Female collaborators in Maastricht, 1945|
After the war, the Angelique's parents helped restart the hardware store for the second time. Apart from their many kids, Angelique and Koos had also taken in Adrie. Adrie was a boy from Rotterdam who had lost his parents and home during the bombing of Rotterdam. He stayed with the Vlek's untill he was grown-up.
|Angelique and a grown-up Adrie|
In 1971, Koos was a pensioner. Instead of enjoying his pension he was asked to help with the restoration of the dome of one of the old churches at Vrijthof square. Because he felt honoured to work in such a grande building, Koos set to work. Up in the dome however, he had an heartattack and subsequently fell down. He died 71 years old.
His wife survived him by fourteen years. She died in 1985. Their daughter Annie, who married the boy Servé had five kids. Annie and Servé still live in Stein, the Netherlands. Their daughter Margot is my mother.
|Left to right: Annie (my grandmother) and her parents, Koos and Angelique|
|Annie Vlek and her two daughters. Ange (named after Angelique) and Margot, my mother.|
So this is the story of Angelique Vlek, born as Angelique Croon in Lanaken, near Hasselt in Belgium in the year 1900. She lived throught both great wars, married a plumber and gave birth to my grandmother. I hope you enjoyed her tale as much as I enjoyed writing it, and I hope I'll find out more about her in the near future. For now, enjoy the rest of the weekend!
|Angelique on the right, with a friend|