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Devistation in the Netherlands

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 6 months ago












                  I come across this picture as I walk through my grandfather's living room. This is a picture of him at the age of 10 on a motorcycle outside the building of his school. Every time I pass it I look at his expression. I notice how happy he is. I see the look of innocence every child normally has on his face. The clothes, the old bike just take me to that time around 1938. But each time I come across that photograph it starts a whole conversation. My grandfather sits me down on the couch besides this photograph and goes into detail about what his life was like during this time. Not too long after this photograph was the beginning of World War 2 and a whole change of his life.

                  This disastrous time was World War 2. In the book Rotterdam Invasion of Holland  main focus is describing exactly what went on each day throughout the years of the war in the Netherlands. World War 2 in the Netherlands began on May 10th, 1940. They war came to the Netherlands because it was easier for Germans to outflank the Maginot line which is the defensive line of bunkers to protect Eastern France from Germany. There was no defensive line in Norhtern France, they bypassed this line through the Netherlands and Belgium. The Germans than attacked all their airports in western Netherlands. These three airports were Schipol, Iepenburg, Waalhaven. Waalhaven was located in Rotterdam. After their bombing, Germans attacked Rotterdam with para-troopers to capture the bridges which stretched across the Meuse River. This went on for about 4 days and the Dutch army didn't let them get across. The Germans became frustrated and on the 4th day they sent invaders an ultimatum that they would bomb Rotterdam if they didn't surrender.

                  As my grandfather is telling me this history, I notice tension in his eyes. Tension which gave me a feeling of sorrow because I knew it was hard for him to tell me. He always told me after this part that this was the time in which I never forgot one single moment. He then goes into telling me that to call off the attack by the bombers, red flares would be sent up to show the Dutch surrender. However, the first formation of bombers was in the air and couldn't be called back. This destroyed the inner city of Rotterdam. My heart was pounding, and it always seems to every time I hear this story. Learning this from my grandfather I always get a better connection with him. He enjoys telling his story but not to many. He only tells a few who are close to his heart this epic beginning of a new life for him. His unfailing spirit becomes part of me. I then always ask myself and then further ask him, what did my grandfather do to keep himself safe?





 1. Aftermath of Rotterdam after attack


 2. Another view of Rotterdam after attack



















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