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NOS 75 years of liberation
The end of the war means the start of an enormous logistic operation: former prisoners return to the Netherlands, the Germans are leaving it and stolen property needs to be returned to the rightful owners. Furthermore in our 38th newsletter the American struggles with the German royal remains and a royal Memorial Day in Margraten.  
Once they were a fierce occupier, now 120.000 German soldiers await their fate, cooped up in ten camps. Last week they were disarmed in an orderly fashion: rifles, helmets, bicycles, gasmasks and artillery was taken away and destroyed. Soon they will start their long march home. German soldiers that are still present on the Waddeneilanden are the exception: Texel is only now falling into the hands of the Allies. And with that the bloody fight between the resisting Georgiërs and the German soldiers comes to an end. A special group of Germans which is already allowed to go home are the citizens from the area bordering Limburg. They were evacuated to Camp Vught when the Allies advanced in Germany. Meanwhile more children leave for Switzerland to regain strength. 
Germans on their way to be disarmed
Germans on their way to be disarmed
In the opposite direction a stream of freed Dutch people wait in the east, wanting to go home. Jews, forced workers and political prisoners hoping for relief. In camp Dachau a group of men decide to take matters into their own hands and take the bus back home. They are tired of waiting for the Dutch government to intervene. Quite understandable concerning how the situation in Bergen-Belsen even led the Allies to decide to burn down the camp to stop the spreading of disease. 
burning of Belsen – harrowing footage – 1945
burning of Belsen – harrowing footage – 1945
In a mine in Austria world famous art pieces await their time to return home. A Vermeer, het Ghent Lam Gods, a stolen Michelangelo and several pieces by Rembrandt. Stolen art, meant for Hitlers Führermuseum, which was almost blown up at the end of the war. Something a bit more prosaic are the thousands of radios waiting to be reunited with their rightful owners in Amsterdam.  
The Americans long struggled to find the right place for the four coffins of prominent Germans they had found. They were part of the German national heritage, but the Allies did not want to organize a large royal funeral shortly after the war. For over a year, they searched for a place where they could have a proper funeral. France and Great Britain firmly declined to participate in this Operation Bodysnatch and refused to make places found in their sector of Germany available. Eventually, almost a year and a half later, they arrived at the Elisabethkirche in Marburg. In a small ceremony, in the presence of some descendants, the coffins were buried in a hastily dug grave, under a layer of cement to prevent grave robbers. The Von Hindenburgs are still there, the two German kings found a final resting place in Potsdam after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The coffin of Frederik de Grote is being transported
The coffin of Frederik de Grote is being transported
Not only listening to the radio can now be done without fear. In North Holland, the youth holiday Luilak can be resumed without curfew or restraining orders. KNMI also resumes the weather reports. They were banned for 5 years because meteorological information can provide the enemy with a strategic advantage.
After the liberation, a mystery remained for KNMI: the location of millions of punch cards and 20,000 ship’s log that were transferred by the Germans in December 1944 to bomb-free shelters. Although the intitute tried desperately to find this unique meteorological data, the journals are still missing. Most likely, the material is in Russian archives.
The Nieuw Israëlietisch Weekblad performed a herculean task. The oldest magazine in the Netherlands was able to be published twelve days after the liberation, despite the deportation of editors, confiscated printing presses and scarcity of paper. In our article about this we also pay attention to the tragic fate of printer Sal Joachimsthal, who was forced to print the Joodsche Weekblad during the war.
War Reports
Other massages this week:
Not used on the site
In our article about the re-establishment of the NIW, we had little opportunity to pay attention to Albert Joachimsthal’s stay in Bergen-Belsen. We would like to share one moment he described. “I was walking in September 1944, very cold, wet, it had rained. I didn’t have a raincoat, I had slippers (they could hardly be called that) and shorts and a shirt with something over it. That was it. At one point I saw a puddle and there was a stick in it. I crouched, grabbed the stick and, like a child can, stirred a little back and forth in that puddle. Then, strangely, a wordless, warm and pleasant feeling came over me. That’s good. That was all, no further. ”
“What nonsense was that?! I was in the children’s barracks so I was not with my parents, had no food, no drinks, I was deadly ill, weighed almost nothing, skin and bone, a walking skeleton. What was it that made me feel this peace? Then suddenly I knew: I had one more thing and that was my breathing. Then I thought: as long as I still have my breathing, it will always be good. Since that moment I have never been afraid of death again, because on that day death died in me. And twice dead is life. That is what determined my life. ”
The NIW also paid attention to its own re-establishment last week, 75 years ago. There a longer interview with Albert Joachimsthal.
Books on WW ll
This week the book Women and Resistance was published, in which Anneke Nolet deals with the underexposed role of women in illegality. Nolet specifically examines the underground in Nijmegen and there alone she found 120 resistance women. According to her, their contributions are often overlooked, for example, because only the man is mentioned when a family was active in the resistance. Historians’ emphasis also often lies on illegal outdoor activities, and therefore contributions to help those in hiding are disregarded.
The fact that the Germans also sometimes overlooked female resistance fighters sometimes worked in their favor. For example, Nolet writes about the unmarried Claar Herckenrath, who “borrowed” uniforms for the Nijmegen resistance fighters from German soldiers who were hospitalized.
D-Day, now in color
D-Day, now in color
Because our image of the Second World War is dominated by black and white images, the subject can sometimes appear somewhat distant, as if it were a different reality. By coloring images in the book World in Flames, Marina Amaral brings back the urgency of this: the orange of houses on fire, the yellow of stars of Jews, uniform green, blood red.
“The colors make it possible to feel a connection with those people,” Amaral previously told NOS. “When you see a photo in color, you better understand what they went through.”
75 years later: WW ll and liberation news
The most recent series of Liberation Journals competes for the Golden Televiezier-ring in the third qualifying round. You can vote here until May 27. Viewers are allowed to nominate five programs for the shortlist every quarter, to which a jury adds five more wildcards. Ultimately, three nominees will be chosen from which the audience can vote.
King Willem-Alexander is present on Sunday at the celebration of Memorial Day at the American cemetery in Margraten. The king lays a wreath during a ceremony, which is kept modest because of the corona crisis. The US commemorates all fallen soldiers every last Sunday of May.
The NOS will report on the commemoration on Sunday, from 2:45 PM to 4:00 PM on NPO 1, and from 7:10 PM to 7:35 PM on NPO 2.
A large online project tells the stories behind the Verkaufsbücher, in which the expropriation of Jewish properties was tracked.
The war newspapers in the Delpher database of the Koninklijke Bibliotheek (indispensable for our articles on the site) are better searchable since this week now that 200 volunteers have manually typed 18 million words. Newspapers from the 17th century are also easier to search through thanks to 5 years of this monastic work.
The advance of Canadian troops in our country can now be followed from hour to hour thanks to Project 44, which has mapped out the war diaries of all units in our country. In addition to the Normandy landings, Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulged ar covered in detail.
Market garden at project’44
Market garden at project’44
Next week the first mass graves are opened, we take a look at how our country is going to be rebuild and the Canadians want to swim.
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