Spent this weekend in Drenthe at Wapserveld. Apart from the beautiful nature, a lot can be found of remains or information about the Second World War. A short visit to the Havelteberg and Holtinger heath again gave interesting facts about the airport (“Fliegerhorst Havelte”) which was built here during 1942 to 1944. Ultimately never put into use, but among other things, due to the threat for Operation Market Garden bombed violently. Several specific parts are still clearly visible in the landscape. Such as the spitter boxes and runway turned back into roads or grass fields. But also the many bomb craters that are scattered on this site are quite visible.
Went to family in Arnhem today. From now on, every time I’m in Arnhem, I’ll try to take a photo or two of key sites during Operation Market Garden. Much has already been done, but being in the right place makes it a bit more special and Arnhem always has a special place for me. Likewise today. Unfortunately it was already dark before and it was raining when I arrived at the Utrechtseweg. Went to two important photographic places: Arnhem municipal museum and the opposite house (no. 88). Only at that place do you realize how close everything was: the bridge, the perimeter and hotel Hartenstein. It must have been pretty desperate.
On May 10th, the Germans invaded the Netherlands, and with it the second world started. Two days later, on May 13th, Hitler expressed his concerns about the progress of the war and issued a Führerweisung. A strong message already put in use with the invasion of Poland. It could quickly crush the resistance. Therefore the Germans decided to bom Rotterdam on that same day. And make a threat to bomb other cities such as Utrecht, Amsterdam and even Haarlem should the Netherlands not capitulate. Luckily it did not come to that.. On May 15th the Netherlands capitulated and the first German troops moved into Haarlem.
Around two o’clock in the afternoon the first German soldiers appeared on the Grote Markt. Succeeding the early arrived Germans more followed that afternoon. Watched by a great a population. In the background of the photo you can see the platform of the city hall of Haarlem Second World War. Today there is a memorial plaque painted by Han Bijvoet in the hall, in memory of the ten people who were executed after the attack on Alois Bamberger (1943). Another attack on the policeman and NSB member Fake Krist
The Haarlem resistance killed policeman and NSB member Fake Krist on October 25, 1945. The consequences of this assassination had a major impact on the history of Haarlem during the second world war. Fake Krist was one of the most notorious employees of the German Sicherheidsdienst, specialized in tracing Jews in hiding. In September 1944, the leadership of the resistance in Haarlem decided that this dangerous traitor should be killed. Three attempts failed so a fourth was set up…
The Assault by the Haarlem resistance
In the early morning of 25 October 1944, three men forced their way into the Bavoschool, which is located on the other side of the corner of the Westegracht in Haarlem. They went to the gym on the first floor and waited. They had gathered Information and knew by now that Krist cycled to his boarding house on a daily bases. To have a clear shot they had smashed a window in order to fire across the street. Quite unexpectedly, the school janitor suddenly entered the room. The three men warned him not to sound an alarm and tied him up just to be safe. After a while the signal came that Fake was approaching on his bike. Gommert Krijger, alias Zwarte Kees, who was the ‘sniper on the carbine’, fired the deadly shots. Krist fell off his bike and died within seconds. Below the picture of the situation.
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.
On November 21, 2014, there was a renovation in which the watermill became a small hydroelectric power station.