Standbeeld De Goede Duitser - ©VisitBrabant
Statue The Good German

Statue The Good German - Riel

N 51.5269441 / E 5.0237033

It is only a small statue placed in the garden of residence on Dorpstraat in Riel, yet the man depicted here was of great importance to a family from Riel.

Karl-Heinz Rosch, a German boy from Meißen, was deployed for World War II in 1944, when he had just finished his grammar school. He ended up in Goirle, North Brabant. There, with a platoon of German soldiers, he manned a cannon set up near a farm outside the village centre.

On that farm lived the Kilsdonk family. They got on well with the German Karl-Heinz. So well, in fact, that he warned the family in time for high visits, so that the family could hide their radio and bicycles.

On 6 October 1944, the farm was shelled by the Allies who tried to destroy the cannon. The German soldiers were ordered to their posts. On their way to the cannon, they spotted two children aged 4 and 5 playing by the well The children of the Kilsdonk family....

The soldiers ran past them, Karl-Heinz did not. He grabbed the children under his arms and ran to a farmhouse, where he put the children and their parents in the shelter.

When he then tried to get to the gun after all, he was hit by a grenade at the same well where the children had been playing. The children and their parents survived the attack.

Karl-Heinz Rosch was then buried in the vegetable garden of the farm, which was located on the Hoogeind in Goirle. That farm no longer exists. In 1947, Karl-Heinz' remains were transferred to the German war cemetery in Ysselsteyn, Limburg.

The statue was created by Riet van der Louw, who had been inspired by the story by a local broadcaster's broadcast and an EO documentary. The idea of a monument to a German soldier generated a lot of discussion; at first, the municipality did not want to cooperate in placing the statue. Therefore, it also stands in a garden of a house and was financed with private funds.

On 3 November 2008, the statue was unveiled in the presence of two half-brothers of Karl-Heinz and rescued children Jan and Toos Kilsdonk.

Photo: ©VisitBrabant Routebureau

Standbeeld De Goede Duitser - ©VisitBrabant

Statue The Good German
Dorpstraat 34
5133 AH Riel

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Open 24 hours
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