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Worthless banknotes, rolled up Night's Watch

NOS 75 years of liberation
A cigar lit with a hundred guilder bill might be one of the most iconic images on our site this week. The result of the large money cleansing operation. Also in the 45th issue of our newsletter the rescue of the O 19 and an remarkable burglary.
This week all 100 guilders bills where declared invalid in one large swoop by minister Lieftinck. Everyone that wanted their money back needed to prove the origin of their earnings first. This ruled out the chance for those trading on the black market and those profiting from the war.
The operation would be followed by a even more rigorous version of the plan late September in 1945: all paper currency had to be handed in, every Dutch citizen had to survive on the one, famous Tenner of Lieftinck a week.
a worthless bill does serve a purpose
a worthless bill does serve a purpose
Another picture that stands out is that of Rembrandt’s Night’s Watch rolled up and stored as one would do to a carpet. The painting returns from Maastricht after being dragged around for years. The most famous painting in Dutch culture has survived the war in hiding.
find Rembrandts most famous painting
find Rembrandts most famous painting
Also Wilhelmina returns home this week. Her return to Palace Noordeinde could mark the definite end of her exile from our country. However she does not move into the palace yet, in her autobiography she discribes that this would be inappropriate because of the remaining scarceness in our country. Rather than moving into the palace she stays in two villas in Scheveningen.
Shortly after her departure from her estate Anneville near Breda burglars took their chance and found their way out with a few Persian rugs. As far as we could find those responsible where never found, nor the stolen rugs.
Such a homecoming is not for everyone. Slowly but surely the forced laborers return from German captivity. But not everyone returns. The 20-year-old Cees Ippel succumbs, two months after he was freed. “His parents are dying of sadness.’’
Also (alleged) collaborators are a long way from home. In the ruins of Duindorp in The Hague they are forced to repair the damage that the Germans inflicted, even though no-one had proven their guilt yet. In North-Germany members of the Wehrmacht have been locked in what can only be discribed as reservations, giant open-air prisons in which they relatively have a lot of space. Attempts have been made to filter out the worst criminals for further processing. For example the infamous SD-member Knorr, who died this week in a prison in Scheveningen. Suicide is what the official report ruled his death to be. But questions still remained.  
The mythologization of the war has also been started: in Wageningen prince Bernhard and general Foulkes reveal a plaque on the spot where the German commander in our county received the instrument of surrender.
Before the month was over, the plate would be removed from the hotel wall. Unscrewed by someone in a Canadian uniform. Newspaper Trouw found the action to be a scandal. “Did a German who could not stand the failure in Wageningen steal the plaque disguised as Canadian? Or did some ‘Canadian’ souvenir-hunter get it in his hands?” is what the paper asked. In the end it turned out to not be as exiting: after a few days a Canadian sergeant reported that he had removed a temporary wooden plate and replaced it by a marble version. “And so, the peace was signed once again.” 
In the Dutch-East-Indies no time can be found for memorials. Over there the battle still continues. Submarine O 19 can not be put to battle this week because it ran on a riff. The only option is to destroy the ship. Indonesia remains mostly battle free because the Americans decided to fire all arrows on Japan. During this battle the Philippines has now been liberated completely.
War messages
Other messages this week:
Not on the site
The rescue of the O 19 would receive a prominent place in the history of the rescuing ship, the USS Cod. The Dutch crew gave a thank-you-party when the Cod returned to its homebase Perth mid-August. During the festivities it was announced that Japan had been surrendered. Glad that they had survived the war the crew turned the welcome home into a three-day party. To never forget the rescue or the party a martini glass with the text O 19 was painted on the conning tower of the Cod. The American submarine is nowadays on show in a museum in Cleveland.
The martini glass on the Cod (Tavoohio – CC by/nc)
The martini glass on the Cod (Tavoohio – CC by/nc)
75 years later: WO ll and liberation news from 2020
The archdiocese in Utrecht resubmits once again the request for a Yad Vashem distinction for cardinal Jan de Jong (1885-1955). He openly protested on multiple occasions against the German occupier and the deportation of Jews. No evidence has been found for an earlier objection, that the cardinal had asked for leniency for a war criminal.
In one of the last German war cases three years imprisonment has been demanded for a guard from camp Stutthof. The 93-year-old SS member Dey is put to trail before the youth court because he was a minor at that time.
And a set of stolen silverware from a Jewish family has been returned thanks to the offspring of a Nazi-family.
the returned silverware
the returned silverware
Next week attention will be given to the sacrifice that merchants endured during the war, the end of the Princess Irene Brigade and an impressive exhibition of war-art.
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See you next week, in the meantime please follow You can also follow our Instagram-account 75 years liberation for more photo’s and video’s.