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Thread: War memorials - annual remembrance day

  1. #1
    Master thieuster's Avatar
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    War memorials - annual remembrance day

    My hometown has a history of housing psychiatrical patients and sanatoriums on vast woodlands and in parks. Even today, there are a handful of institutes like that. All 'hospitals' were erected in the 'Interbellum'. Early 20th century land and labour was cheap around these parts of the country. And living in my town was (and is) posh: the Royal family has a large castle and even our King's grandmother (then Queen) used to live here.

    Between the two world wars, there was a sanatorium built by a Jewish organisation. Even after the Germans had defeated the Dutch army in 1940, thing remained quiet. Until January 1943 when the SS raided the sanatoriums, rounding up the Jewish patients. The patients were forced into lorries. Staff (also non-Jewish staff) offered to take their place or wanted to go with the patients - to take car of them. The lorries drove to the town's station and all were driven into cattle-wagons. The trains left for Auschwitz. The train drivers and the railroad staff got the idea what would be going on. They tried to warn people about the plans before they left the job and went into hiding. The Germans had to rustle up members of the NSB (Dutch nazi party) to do the jobs. After arriving in Auschwitz, all patients and staff were murdered within hours.

    (After the war, the German leading officer Aus der Fünten was sentenced to life, only to be released a few weeks before he died in 1989).

    In 1990, a war memorial was erected in the park adjacent to my house. Every 20th January, there's a remembrance ceremony in the park, often attended by a member of the Cabinet or Royalty. This time a Minister. Streets are closed by the police, all work in the park (wood cutting etc are stopped. Everything is quiet!) All local memorials -we have quite a few- are maintained by schools. The boys and girls are responsible for cleaning etc. My son's duty was last month and today he attended the ceremony. He returned impressed!



    Today's ceremony. My youngest is just left of the camera. In the background my house.
    Last edited by thieuster; 20th January 2020 at 23:16.

  2. #2
    What a very moving post. Thank you for sharing, the Dutch have good and long memories.
    Tom

  3. #3
    Grand Master PickleB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommyboy View Post
    What a very moving post. Thank you for sharing, the Dutch have good and long memories.
    Tom
    Another thank you from me.

  4. #4
    Grand Master Andyg's Avatar
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    Nice post. Lest we forget.

    Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.
    Friedrich Nietzsche


  5. #5
    Grand Master oldoakknives's Avatar
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    Was in the Netherlands last year, and was impressed by the respect the people had for the war graves and those who fought.
    It's just democracy.

  6. #6
    Grand Master Neil.C's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this Menno.

    I like the way the Dutch children are encouraged to tend to the memorials.

    Helps give the young an insight into what happened.
    Cheers,
    Neil.

    My Speedmaster website:

    http://www.freewebs.com/neil271052

  7. #7
    Grand Master Griswold's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing Meno.
    Best Regards - Peter

    I hate being bipolar, its brilliant.

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