Haarlem Second World War

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.

Haarlem Second World War -Stadhuis
Haarlem Second World War -Stadhuis 15 mei1940

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

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Haarlem – the assault on 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…

Westergracht
Assassination of Kirst

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.

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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 Second World War (WWII)

soester-courant-1945-05-05_001
Local newspaper ‘Soester Courant’ 5th of May 1945.

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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