Limburg – Leudal

Enjoyed nature this weekend in North Limburg. Some spots on the eye, but I didn’t get around to it in the end. But it does surprise you that there is always an impact somewhere of what happened in World War II. Also in the Leudal, a deserted but beautiful place, there are various visible places with a story.
Located along the road from Rogel to Haelen (near Roermond) is a water mill near a bridge over the Leubeek.

In 1944 the resistance had ammunition stored in the watermill. Eventually this was betrayed to the Germans and the watermill was blown up. At the end of 1944, the Germans withdrew from the southern Netherlands. They were tasked with blowing up what could be of use to the Allies such as bridges, windmills and church towers. This also applies to the bridge at the watermill over the Leubeek. On November 15, 1944, the bridge and with it the water mill were blown up with a heavy load. A ruin remained.

St.-Elisabethsmolen-1927
St.-Elisabethsmolen 1927
St.-Elisabethsmolen 2021
St.-Elisabethsmolen 2021

On November 21, 2014, there was a renovation in which the watermill became a small hydroelectric power station.

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Soest during WWII

Because I live in Soest I was curious about stories and visible memories concerning the Second World War. Therefore ‘What could I find about Soest during WWII’? The main source for this is of course the internet. But in my search I also went to Museum Soest where a small part of the exhibition is specifically about this period. And it turns out that some important events have already received attention on the internet so I will refer to them. This page gives an impression of what a small village and its inhabitants experienced during the war and what visible memories still can be found.

The newspaper ‘Soester Courant‘ is an important source as it was published just after the war and chronologically describes the events (on page 4) in Soest in the period 1940 – 1945.

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Huis Doorn – The last residence of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany

In 1918 the First World War ended with the signing of the armistice in Compiègne, but Wilhelm II, the last emperor of Germany, also resigned and applied for asylum in the neutral Netherlands. First in Amerongen and then quietly as a ‘normal citizen’ in the Huis Doorn estate. Although at his death there was a desire not to have a Nazi funeral, Hitler made it a registered event with a guard of honor, military band and representatives of the Nazi party.

Leutlant von Braunschweig at the main gate. The gatehouse was built by the Kaiser before moving into Huis Doorn in 1920

The ex-Kaiser Wilhelm II died in Huis Doorn on 4 June 1941. Because of the resistance that was still experienced in parts of Germany around the Emperor, Hilter decided that the funeral should be a modest ceremony with a considerable military delegation.
Since the mausoleum, then planned to the north of the main house, still had to be built, the body of the emperor would be temporarily laid to rest in the small chapel near the entrance to the estate.

Chapel Huis Doorn - temporarily resting place Kaiser Wilhelm II

Monday, April 9, 1941: On the picture on the right Count von Moltke (left) and Count von der Goltz (right) present the Field Marshal’s Staff and the Emperor’s decorations while Father Doehring leads in prayer from the chapel.

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Battle for Arnhem – bridge too far

75 years ago! That is now one of the largest airborne landings taking place at Arnhem to put a swift end to the war in Europe. Unfortunately it all went differently and the sacrifice that the soldiers then made is an ultimate act of courage and justifies the attention it should receive every year.

It has been on my list for a long time to find out more about the battle of Arnhem where my family rootes are. It will be exciting and beautiful to visit the places that played an important role in battle for Arnhem. On 15 September 2 days before the actual landing in 1944 we are ready in the morning to do a battlefield tour at Arnhem. What strikes me is the broad interest and involvement of people from the immediate surroundings of Arnhem and Oosterbeek, but also the people who come along from different areas of the country with the tour of today.

Arnhem Bridge
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