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NOS 75 years of liberation
Our 48th newsletter starts with a translation error that lead to the atomic attack on Japan. Also, we pay attention tohow the youth grew up during the post-war period and the cargo of a sunken ship full of clocks resurfaces.
It will be marked as history’s biggest translation error. The Japanese response to the final ultimatum of the Allies from Potsdam. With the secret of a successfull atomic trialrun in the back of his mind president Truman threatened total annihilation if the country would not surrender unconditionally. The Japanese prime minister responded with the word “mokusatsu”, a word untranslatable in English. It can be the Japanese equivalent of “no comment” but it can also mean “disregard with contempt”. The Americans took the comment as the resolute rejection of their final treat. Which lead President Truman to the idea that the use of nuclear weapons was needed.
A Japanese POW at Okinawa
A Japanese POW at Okinawa
In the German city of Potsdam, where the Big Three meet, a personnel change takes place. Prime minister Churchill has been defeated in the elections. His successor Attlee takes his place at the summit.
The abrupt departure of Churchill would not be definite: in 1951 he would succeed Attlee and rule for four more years.
The demise of the wartime prime minister might signal the fact that everyone is ready to leave behind these dreadful times. Even though the battle still continues in Asia. The Netherlands also sees change: general Crerar and Foulkes, who led the battle here, return home. Crerar is received as a war hero as he arrives by troopship.
Canadian Army Newsreel No. 86
Canadian Army Newsreel No. 86
Many compatriots of the generals still wait for transport to return home. The Allied countries have had four years to transport millions of soldiers to Europe. They can not all return home at once. The goal is to have as many soldiers as possible home before Christmas. But even then some still have to stay behind in Europe.
People are also turning to those soldiers who will not return home: near Arnhem many field graves are exhumed, casualties of Market Garden. The British have the tradition the bury their fallen near the original battlefield. The Americans opt for a central cemetary in the town of Margraten. Only after 1946 the first German casualties will be given their final resting place on the graveyard Ysselsteyn, where roughly 30.000 deceased from all over the Netherlands are brought.
Not only military personnel are being reburied with honor, resistance heroes are still being found. This week leader Johannes Post is found.
Johannes Post was quick to reach a heroes status after the war. Anne de Vries wrote in 1948 a book on his story: De levensroman van Johannes Post (Johannes Post life story). Due to this book the resistance man reached an almost mythical status. Entire generations grew up with this book. For the children of this man, killed in 1944, it was not easy to live with a father that they had barely known but who was also a person highly regarder by the entire country. Even 76 years after his passing they are still filled with questions. How could my father abandon us, is what Trijneke Blom-Post askes herself.
Director Geertjan Lassche made a documentary in 2019 on the legacy of the resistance hero.
Hilda Eikelboom Post tells, daughter of resistance hero Johannes Post
Hilda Eikelboom Post tells, daughter of resistance hero Johannes Post
Just as Post’s family, torn apart by war, has to get used to a post war society after years of terror, many children need to refind structure in their lives. Schools were closed, rules were absent, parents could be taken away or were in hiding, to stay alive everything was allowed. Educators are worried an entire generation has become unhinged. In Utrecht a symposium was held to share solutions to this problem.
Loose morals was not the only thing threatening the youth. Children are still at risk of physical harm die to left-over amunitions. Repeatedly it causes harm or death.
Adults worry about other problems as well: crops might fail because of the damage caused by the war. There are not enough men, no crops were planted and the fields are full of mines. Plans to let citydwellers harvest fail. Luckily for some families friends and relatives are able to send care packages from Curaçao.  
War reports
Other messages this week:
Not on the site
We could not place this picture of the site with our article on the dangers of leftover ammunition, because the picture originates from december 1945. This boy had to be saved by the fire department with a ladder car from a bunker surrounded by mines.
75 years later: WO ll and liberation news from 2020
In the prison nicknamed ‘Hotel Orange’ one can still read the texts left behind by resistance fighters who were executed. However, post-war carvings by quislings had been whitewashed. Now new research has discovered what a NSB-mayor wrote on the walls of his cell.
76 years after the failed attempt on Hitler’s life, the son of one of the perpetrators tells his story for the first time.
And now the Dutch railways have offered compensation to wartime deportees, one surviving relative thinks Deutsche Bahn should also make amends
Next week the last months of the war is upon us. Also for the Dutch-East-Indies. We report on the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima, see de three Dutch princesses return to the Netherlands and we have a look at the coarse misunderstanding that rule in the holding cells of traitors.
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