View profile

The entire country is finally liberated

NOS 75 years of liberation
Schiermonnikoog is a special footnote in the history of the war: the last remaining German hideout. Until their surrender this week. Also, the photography project which captured the liberation and the WO ll- boat of John Kennedy.
This week the Germans have their last forces in the Netherland surrender at the hands of the Allies. And on that note Schiermonnikoog can also start celebrating the liberation of our country. The last few weeks had been quite tense on the island. The island had lived through the war quite untouched, but in the end a group of fanatic collaborators fled here.
German soldiers surrender themselves
German soldiers surrender themselves
The fanatics that surrendered on the island were told they would be treated as POW’s and returned to Germany, but that was a lie. They were locked up as collaborators to await their trail. The Netherlands will have to process thousands of traitors: for instance the Dutch SS members locked up in a camp on the Veluwe. Elsewhere a high-ranking civil servant Robert Verway who did not want to hinder the German occupiers is arrested. Also, the fallen sport legend Tinus Osendarp awaits his punishment.
Throughout the country people are taking the law into their own hands. In Zeeland for example two NSB-women walk with fear, as they are ambushed by an angry mob.
Our editor who wrote this story from Philippine used her own family-history. “My grandfather had kicked a suitcase of one of the women. It was his act of resistance. My grandmother refused to watch. She did not agree with this kind of mob justice. She was a wise woman.”
The younger woman was put on probation for three years by a special court in 1947, on the condition she would behave as a loyal Dutch citizen. Her voting rights were suspended for ten years.
If the mother was also tried remains unclear. Due to the corona-crisis the archives in which the answers should lay stayed closed.
Also, in Scheveningen Prison, where many prominent figures are locked up, the lives of the incarcerated were being made hell. No wonder that till this day wild tales surrounding the death of NSB-leader Rost van Tonningen exsist.
The ruthlessness of the resistance can be is seen in a murder in Rotterdam: weeks after the liberation people who had done possibly betrayed the local fighting squad during the occupation are still getting liquidated.
At the request of the resistance the police had closed the case of the murder of Kitty van der Have. It was not until 1950 that her murder was solved. Only at that time a person involved in the killing confessed to taking her life. The people involved were tried by the Military Authority, but were only given probational sentences, as they had been members of the resistance. The story of Van der Have became one of the insperations for Paul Verhoeven his film Black book.
These kinds of crimes did not recieve lots of attention back then. Perhaps unsurprisingly if victims of the occupation are still found. For example the bodies of crashed pilots still wash up on the shores of Urk. Or resistance members that fell into the hands of the executioner of Emsland.
Two movies would be made about the deeds of Willi Herold. The film Der Hauptmann and a documentary.  
Der Hauptmann von Muffrika/ DVD-Trailer
Der Hauptmann von Muffrika/ DVD-Trailer
The return from the south to the west of the country is steadily proceding. People are moving by train, truck and even boats are used. Many people were glad they could leave the ‘people warehouse in Eindhoven. People felt like caged animals in there.  
On their way home
On their way home
One of the boats used to bring people home was the Christiaan Brunnings. Nowadays the property of the shipping museum in Amsterdam. During the war, the ship got hidden in the Old Maas for the Germans. Currently the former icebreaker is used for the parade during the national holiday Sinterklaas (Saint Nicolas).
War reports
Other messages this week:
Charles Breijer initially did not even realize that he had caught a German on camera
Charles Breijer initially did not even realize that he had caught a German on camera
We were very happy with all the feedback that came in from the people who didn’t have to do any exams in 1945. We have processed the experiences from 4 people in our article (of the mulo, HBS and gymnasium). All 4 were relieved that the exams did not take place. They had either missed too much lessons or had not followed any lessons at all in that last year of war. None of them had trouble later on in life, although they left school with a “free diploma”, which is what people called it.
In a NOS production last May, the 90-year old Jan Vrijheid spoke via a video connection to the 18-year old Nassreddin, who didn’t make any exams this year because of the corona crisis. They spoke about how different the situation now is compared to back then. According to Jan, Nassreddin doesn’t have to be afraid that his diploma will be worth less. “If you have to prove yourself after such a study with an exam at the end, something isn’t right”.
Not used on the site
The story about the horse soup wasn’t the only soup story that Rebecca Siegel experienced on her return trip to the Netherlands. At a stop over during the train journey from Germany she saw American soldiers crowding around huge boiling kettles. “We were hungry and saw pieces of bread and meat float. So, we took it out and ate it. I thought that the American food was different from what we were used to, but oh well. Until we realized that it was dishwater. Everyone had cleaned their dirty plates in it. It was not even that bad, they had left a lot of food on their plates.”
75 years later: WO ll and liberation news from 2020
On our regular site this week we also paid attention to the liberation of Schiermonnikoog. We talked about a Jewish girl who was in hiding over there. “The Germans had to have known, but the those that were hold up here were not too difficult.” 
Refugee Julieke de Levie
Refugee Julieke de Levie
Researchers are convinced that they found the WW ll petrol boat near Manhattan on which the later president Kennedy served. Kennedy was appointed to the ship after his PT109 had been sunk (a story that would become world famous.) “Kennedy’s other ship” was sunken after the war as a weir in the Harlem River. Further research must confirm this and researchers are hoping to retrieve and store parts of the ship.
Preview
Next week impressive drawing a Japanese camp, unrest about their welcome amongst the forced laborers and funerals for resistance hero’s.
Do please share this newsletter. Remarks or feedback are happily recieved.
See you next week, in the meantime please follow nos.nl/75jaarbevrijding. You can also follow our Instagram-account 75 years liberation for more photo’s and video’s.