Local Heart, Global Soul

January 10, 2018

A Small Tour Of The Four Winds…

Filed under: Historical,Monster,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Visiting the “de Vier Winden” (the Four Winds) in the small village south of The Hague, our visitors are delighted to find that the mill is open to visit.

The February weather was cold and very windy so getting inside was a welcome ideal too.

Inside however there is a ridiculously steep staircase, far too steep for me to attempt, and one of our visitors also looked at it and decided to stay on the ground floor with me.

There were a few words I the brochure that I could not translate and they even stumped Himself, apparently our knowledge of technical mill terms in somewhat lacking.

The brochure translates as” “stichting vrienden van de molen” Friends of the mill Foundation”Structure of the mill.
5th Zolder “ (5th attic) This is the pivot point for the windmills sails. This area is not open to the public.

4th Zolder “ (forth attic) this is the area for wheat / grain storage. The wheat is hoisted up through “luiwerk” (trapdoors??) and via a duct made of jute sacks it is bought down again.

3rd Zolder (third attic). This is the stone floor where there are three grinding stones. Two of these are still in use.
2nd Zolder .(Second attic). This is where the flour is milled to a fine powder. The wheat comes from the upper floors for this. There is also a “Praathuis” (??) for the miller. Outside are the controls for the sails and machinery. 1st Zolder . (First attic). Here there is a “de buil” (??) with a sieve, this area is not operational. Ground floor. Used to be the storage area for the wheat, now is is the exhibition area for the mill.History: in already in 1311 in exactly the same spot where the “de Vier Winden” stood a corn mill. The round stone Mill “ was in rebuilt in 1882 after the previous mill burnt down in 1881. The “de Vier Winden”  was in business until 1932 .

In 1957 the municipality of Moster Gemente Monster (city council).
Ownership of the mill: After restoration in the mill went back into business and from 1983 until today has been run by volunteers from the “Gilde van Virjwillige Molenaars” (Volunteer Millers Guild).

They grind the wheat into whole grain flour. After reorganisation of municipal boundaries from 2004 the mill ownership was transferred to the Gemente Westland (Westland City Council).

Exhibition: on the ground floor where the wheat used to be stored, there is now an exhibition area.
Here you can find old photos of the mill and a unique collection of mill tools from the past.

They sell pancake mix and whole wheat flour. Souvenirs such as postcards, a mill book, tiles and pen drawings are for also sale.

Various Mill sail positions.
“Vreugdestand” (C3lebration Position) The sails get tied , this happens on special occasions such as National holidays, weddings, births of important figures.
“ Rouwstand” (mourning position) The sails get tied into position to mark National mourning of an important figure.
“Korte rust” (short rest position) the sails are in a horizontal or vertical position, the sails look like a “+” sign.
“ Lange rust” (long rest position) the sails are at an angle of 45 degrees with the horizon.The sails look like an “X” because they are low there is less chance for lightening to hit. “

Himself, one of our visitors and Kiwi Daughter all braved the ladder-like staircase and took a look outside. I stayed and took photos of the exhibition area. The mill is small and whilst the exhibition was not large, it was interesting for us to see. Our guests were delighted to have seen inside an actual Dutch windmill. Of course when a place is run by volunteers and on a next to nothing budget, is it difficult to make brochures in languages other than Dutch, but aside from that this is a perfect place to bring visitors.

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January 9, 2018

A “Moster Mill”, A Misleading Name Of Sorts…

Filed under: Historical,Monster,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Seriously, you’d think I could have organised my WordPress Schedule better: I’ve made two posts with tomorrows date (again)… sincere apologies for my incompetence. Pain medication messes with your brain. … or in my case.. What brain???

Early in February 2017 Family Kiwidutch had some visitors from the United Kingdom, two ladies we know who are Kiribati nationals and friends of others from Kiribati we have already good contact with.

After extended times at home catching up, cooking and eating far more than we should have, from the moment they arrived on the Friday afternoon, until Saturday evening, we decided to go out for a small tour on the Sunday.

Since they are only over for the weekend we couldn’t go far, do drove up the coast, passing through the small village of Monster.

The name “Monster” comes from the name of a Monastery that was located here centuries ago and there is a windmill of the same age there.

Our family passed by this “molen” (mill) many times before but usually it’s closed, so when we saw that it was open to the public we found a parking spot and decided to take a closer look.

The mill is called “de Vier Winden” (the Four Winds) and according to a brochure I found inside (Dutch language only) there has been a mill on this spot since 1311. This latest edition is fairly recent: a rebuilding that took place in 1882 after a fire razed the previous one to the ground in 1881. Mill fires seem to have been a common occurrence since there was so much wood in the inner construction. The name of the mill is spelt out in the bricks around the base, and our visitors are enthusiastic to see inside…

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The weather gets decidedly stormy and the volunteers who look after the mill stop the sails from turning with special brakes and anchor them into a “resting” position so that the sails and machinery do not get damaged.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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December 31, 2017

Remembering Heroic Actions…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

The former school alongside the former Stathuis (Town Hall) in Baarle-Hertog  has the war memorial located on the outside of one of it’s walls.

This memorial commemorates also the actions of Miet Verhoven, Gerardus Gerritsen and Adriaan van Gestel who made the ultimate sacrifice in their efforts to help downed pilots back to safe territory.

This is a beautiful, poignant statue that gives a lasting memory to ordinary people caught up in horrific events far beyond their own making but who stood up, stepped out and showed amazing acts of bravery.

They make the ultimate sacrifice and deserve nothing less something beautiful to remember them by.

My only regret is that this statue is not located on the Main Street of Baarle where it could be even more appreciated.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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“Monument for those Executed

This monument is made in 1949  by L. van Der Meer in memory of the three inhabitants of Baarle who were executed on 10th September 1944 : Maria Verhoeven, Gerardus Gerritsen and Adriaan van Gestel.”

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December 29, 2017

Smuggling Letters Through The Lines…

Miet Verhoven. (photograph © Kiwidutch)

On our weekend visit to Baarle earlier this year Himself and I found an information board in the countryside nearby about the “Doodendraadroute“ (Route of the Wire of Death).

On Sunday, the next day we decided to look around the town a bit more before we went, and all of a sudden we found another one of “Doodendraadroute” series boards in one of the side streets.

This one was about the role of Baarle-Hertog and Baarle-Nassau in smuggling letters. Translated into English the board reads:

“Baarle-Hertog: letter smuggling centre”
In order to break the moral of the Belgian soldiers the German censor prohibited letters to and from the front.

But mail-smuggling networks were soon set up. Letters were collected in each provincial capital and sent to Baarle-Hertog via Brussels because Baarle-Hertog was the only Belgian post office on the border not controlled by the Germans.

From Baarle-Hertog the letters went via Baarle-Nassau, Vlissingen, London, Folkestone and Calais to the front (or to the government in Le Havre and visa versa).

For months on end families lived in uncertainty about the fate of their fathers and sons. It was a relief to receive the letters but they could not be delivered in the normal way. On the other first letter smuggling services was “Post de Geallieerden” / Post des Alliés” it was established in Folkestone together with the Belgium military censorship.

Post from the “werk soldatengroet” (literally: work for solders greetings) consisted of three similarly numbered strips, in this case: “NYH12/3 strip 2”.

The Germans could not find out who was the sender of the smuggled letters. Strip One, with the name of the soldier remained in Baarle-Hertog, strips Two and Three were smuggled into Belgium.

On strip Two came the reply and Three was the actual letter. Back in Baarle-Hertog strip One was sent together with strip two to the front.

(Kiwi’s note: this system appears complicated but if I have it correctly then it just means that only two strips are together at any one time and the sender and addressee are always kept apart.

Thus if a letter was intercepted then the Germans would only know where it was going or who it was from but not have both bits of information, thus the letter, and it’s possible postal route was more or less anonymous. Himself gave up trying to figure out how this all worked and said: “If it can fool the Germans, it can fool me”).

Belgian Post Office (Kerkstraat 1) the organisation “ Aide des Soldats Belges” sent parcels from here to soldiers at the front containing tobacco, food and clothing.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

By the end of 1916 more than 80% of all smuggled letters into Belgium came through here. The main smuggle services had their offices in Baarle-Hertog amongst others “Werk Soldatengroet (le mot du Soldat) “Union Belge, and “Post de Geallieerden”. Scan the QR code and listen to the story of Miet Verhoven.

When the Germans intercepted a Thank-you letter from England in 1918, Meet, a border guide from Hoogstraten was arrested for providing support to Belgian army recruits.

During WWII Miet was active in a group helping pilots to escape . On the site of the old town hall is a statue of this courageous woman.

Jacques Gevers, a refugee from Antwerp discovered a niche market in Baarle-Hertog. For a fee, he sent postcards with rare stamps from Free Belgium (unoccupied = this was only Baarle-Hertog) to collectors in the Netherlands.

These stamps were printed in London for the benefit of the Belgium Red Cross. They were made to replace the stamps confiscated by the German army.

Liberation Parade 12th August 1919, Soldiers from Baarle-Hertog were received in the town hall. Upstairs was the office of the local police were thousands of recruits of the Belgian army were registered and conscripts were medically examined.

(Kiwi’s note: Baarle-Hertog was a “safe” place for this sensitive information, because located safely within the neutral Dutch border it was the only unoccupied part of Belgium)
In 1918 it also hosted the “vredesgerecht” (type of local court) the large family of the local police officer lived downstairs.

Again, this is another part of “history” that we never learned in our History lessons, and with fewer and fewer people still alive from this time I can only hope that as many personal stories as possible have been collected and preserved for future generations.

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December 28, 2017

History Records Little Of The Wire Of Death…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

When Himself and I were driving around the small roads of the district that surround Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog we drove past an information board.

Stopping to take a closer look we found lots of information in Dutch which translated into English read:

Doodendraadroute “Route of the Wire of Death”.
“Tension at the national border”:”Because Germany failed to control the large flow of influx of refugees, spies, soldiers, deserters and smugglers entering the Netherlands in mid-1915, they started to erect an electric fence along the entire Belgian – Dutch border: “Doodendraad” (Wire of Death).

The fence ran from the gate at the Meersweg in Minderhout (see photographs 1a and 1b) to the meadows along the River Mark.

The river was followed in a straight line to the bridge of Castelre about 200 yards from here.

There was also tension at the peace conference at Versailles (1919) where Belgium asked for border correction.

For it’s defence it had to rely on the Maas and Scheldlines (natural boundaries) Zeeuws-vlaanderen and the Dutch province of Limberg were claimed.

They also asked for a border correction in Baarle (see map) . Baarle-Nassau was already coloured (in their application) as Belgian soil. The trust between Belgium and the Netherlands was completely gone.

Belgium was furious about the retreat of 12 November 1918 of 70 000 German soldiers over Dutch soil with the spoils of war. The Allies were not informed beforehand.

In Baarle-Nassau190 German soldiers crossed the border. They were disarmed and returned home by train via Eindehoven and Kaldenkirchen.”

Here Lies Jeanne Philipsen / Born: Hoogstraten 23 August 1892 / Died: Minderhout 27 December 1914 / Victim of War

On the 27th December 1914 the congregation of Castelre were permitted to return home at 11:00 p.m. after the service. Afterwards the road between Minderhout and Castelre was closed by German soldiers.

In the late afternoon Jeanne Philipsen was shot here when she with her mother and brother still attempted to cross the border. Jeanne lies buried to the south of St Katharina Church in Hoogstraten.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Scan the QR code and listen to the story of Joke (Kiwi’s Note: this name is pronounced: “yoke-ah”) and Toke Verheijen. Joke lived with her parents in the second house along this side street.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Toke (in photograph) worked as a maid in Minderhout. The Wire of Death wire separated the two Dutch sisters, but they still kept in touch. On 9th October events went tragically wrong when both sisters were electrocuted.

“Wire separation WW1”. On 10 November 1918 the Netherlands granted political asylum to Wilhelm II, the German emperor.
The Dutch tradition to grant asylum to anyone who was persecuted was not set aside to allow the war’s victors to take revenge. The allies found this standpoint hard to understand.”

This is a part of the First World War that I knew nothing about. Before our visit to Brabant my Dutch husband hadn’t either. I find it amazing that books, films, and documentaries cover some areas and events of both WWI and WWII almost ad infinitum and yet other events, like this Wire of Death, so very little is recorded that it’s a complete shock to discover that something so inhumane existed.

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Sign 9 after 1.9 km:   – follow junction 52

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November 27, 2017

Let’s Change, Let’s Not, Let’s Change, Let’s Not…

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The Baarle-Nassau / Baarle-Hertog enclave and counter enclave situation has been around since 1190. The next logical question would be: “Why not have both countries resolve this odd territorial entity some time in the next eight hundred years? I found some text the answered this question:

“What is remarkable is that the partition of the territory did not change across all succeeding historical events. Many opportunities presented themselves to eliminate the Baarle enclaves over the course of the last 800 years, but none succeeded.

* 1327 – 1339 – There was no Lord of Breda. The Land of Breda belonged directly to the ducal domains. The fiefs held from the Lord of Breda were now held from the Duke in Brussels. We can still see the mix up with “real” ducal fiefs like those of Baarle-Hertog in the registers in Brussels.

In 1334 a number of villages, including Baarle-Breda, were pawned to Van Liedekerke. During the short period 1327 – 1334 it would have been easy to erase the enclaves in all those villages, but it did not happen.

* 1388 – The Duchess of Brabant was in need of money to wage war. To raise these funds she sold or pawned a number of ducal domains. In 1388 her jurisdiction over the enclaves in the Land of Breda was pawned to the Lord of Breda. The pawn was never redeemed.

However, the jurisdiction over Baarle belonged since 1356 to her sister Maria of Brabant (Land of Turnhout) and was therefore not a part of this transaction. Thus while most enclaves disappeared already in 1388, those in Baarle escaped.

* From around 1500 the Kings of Spain were Lord over the 17 Provinces in the Low Countries previously ruled by Burgundy. The 80 Years War split these 17 Provinces into the Republic of the 7 United Provinces and the rest, known as the “Southern Netherlands”. The northern part of the old Duchy of Brabant was annexed by the Republic which acquired the status of occupied territories under the name “Staats Brabant”. In 1648 Spain and other countries officially recognized the Republic.

As far as Baarle is concerned, Henry III was followed as Count of Nassau and Lord of Breda by René of Chalons, Prince of Orange (in France) and then by William of Orange, the central figure in the Dutch revolt against Spain. From there the line runs down to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in our own day.

* In the North the Republic of the 7 United Provinces survived up to 1795. Then from 1795 to 1806 these provinces form the so-called “Batavian Republic” with “Bataafs Brabant” (the former “Staats-Brabant”) as a normal province. From 1806 to 1810 they form the Kingdom of Holland; from 1810 they are part of the French Empire until they are liberated at the end of 1813 with William of Orange as sovereign.

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* In the South the rule of the Spanish King gives way to that of the Austrian emperor. Then in 1793 comes annexation by France, first as part of the Republic and then of the Empire, with liberation at the end of 1813, when the Congress of Vienna decides that the North and South shall be united under King William of Orange I as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

* 1830 – The two are split again: in the South we have the Kingdom of Belgium; in the North the Kingdom of the Netherlands. One half-province (the eastern part of greater Luxemburg) becomes a separate Grand Duchy initially under William I but from 1890 under its own Grand Dukes.

* 1648 – With the Peace of Munster of 1648, one of the treaties of Westphalia putting an end to the 30 Years War and also to the 80-Year-War of the Netherlands against Spain, it was decided that the portion of Baarle under the Count of Nassau should be added to the “Generaliteitslanden” (The United Provinces), because this part belonged to the Baronie de Breda; and that the portion of Baarle belonging to the Land of Turnhout should be added to the Spanish Southern Netherlands (the present Belgium).

In this way the enclaves survived the Peace of Munster.

* 1789 – In the Treaty of Fontainebleau of 1785, between the Dutch Republic and Emperor Joseph II, a committee was ordered to make proposals for the exchange of territories so that the enclaves would disappear. Protests from Baarle-Hertog delayed the work of the committee so much that nothing happened before the annexation of the Southern Netherlands by France.

* 1830 – Between 1810 – 1832 the whole of the Netherlands (North and South) was measured and mapped for the land taxes imposed by the French Empire and later the Kingdom of the United Netherlands. Each “village” became a cadastral municipality.

It was then thought wise to make one cadastral municipality “Baarle” and the maps and registers were made on that basis.

But Baarle-Hertog was part of the province of Antwerp and Baarle-Nassau was part of Noord-Brabant. So a formal provincial border correction was needed.

Everything was prepared and agreed upon informally. The provincial government of Noord-Brabant agreed to the proposals on July 5th and the Antwerp provincial government planned to do so in September 1830. In the summer of 1830, however, there occurred the Belgian Revolution. So the unified cadastral municipality had to be split up once again. This was done by colouring the Belgian parcels on the cadastral maps.

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But some parcels were forgotten in this process, and some could not be dealt with so easily since they were partly Belgian and partly Dutch: these had been thrown together into single parcels because the mapmakers had assumed that the partition of the village would shortly disappear.

* 1843 – The Treaty of Maastricht of 1843 delimited the boundary between the Netherlands and Belgium, but even then it was found impossible to compromise on the territory of Baarle. It was instead decided to leave things as they stood, for it was impossible to define the boundary between boundary poles 214 and 215 (about 50 km).

Instead of defining a boundary, it was accepted that the nationality of 5732 parcels be established one by one (the colouring on the cadastral maps). A part of these parcels constitute the (at least) twenty Belgian enclaves, presently Baarle Hertog, which are situated either within the territory of the Dutch municipality of Baarle-Nassau or, in the case of the agrarian region of Zondereigen, in the surrounding land.

Most of them lie about five km beyond the Belgian border, but there is also a small enclave of Baarle-Nassau inside Belgium and even a Belgian parcel within a Dutch parcel within a Belgian enclave surrounded by Dutch territory. This bizarre situation has obviously led to a number of difficulties – hence the repeated attempts at normalization.

* 1875 – A new committee, set up by Belgium, began its exploration of the possibilities for an exchange of territories in 1875. Only in 1892 was a draft agreement between the both countries ready, but it was not accepted by both parliaments.

* 1996 – In 1996 plans were made to form bigger municipalities in the Netherlands and in Belgium. So Baarle-Hertog would become a part of Turnhout and Baarle-Nassau would form together with Alphen and Chaam a new entity (the “ABC-municipality”).
This implied that the distance between the two centers of municipal government, now about 200 meters, would increase to 15 kilometers. This would make the long-existing strong contacts between both municipalities rather impossible. Both the Dutch and the Belgian parliaments voted against the disappearance of the municipalities of Baarle-Nassau and Baarle-Hertog. So they still exist although they are in population terms among the smallest municipalities of both countries.

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The Story of Baarle
http://ontology.buffalo.edu/smith//baarle.htm

November 26, 2017

When Land Ownership Got Very Complicated Indeed…

Filed under: BAARLE Nassau/Hertog,Historical,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
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(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In my first post about Baarle I looked at the strange enclave and counter enclave situation here.

Of course this is the main reason we are here this weekend; to look at how this conundrum works itself out on the ground.

So, How is it possible that parcels of land within one country can belong to a neighbouring country? Even more, how can some of these parcels of land end up with bits of the host country inside them?

The answer is complicated, and like most good tales of strange land titles and border irregularities, goes back a few centuries (or in this instance, between eight and nine hundred years).

‘In the 12th century Baarle is located in a rather peripheral region in which none of the regional counts (of Holland, Louvain/Brabant, Gelre) or bishops (Utrecht, Liège) enjoys a firm grip on the surrounding territory. A number of local lords owned their own village and some of them succeeded in becoming a regional lord, like the Lord of Breda.

In the period 1190 – 1235 the Count of Louvain/Brabant expanded his power from the south over a large part of this region, while the Count of Holland expands from the Northwest.

A big clash occurred in 1203, from which time both regions of influence were more or less clearly demarcated. In the years before 1203 the Lord of Breda took sides with Louvain/Brabant while the Lord of Strijen elected for Holland.

Indeed the Count of Louvain gave up all his claims in the north west and gave them in fief to the Lord of Breda. Those documents are now dated “ca. 1198”. Other local and regional lords in that part of the region called “Brabant” from 1203 were afterwards swallowed up by Brabant without such compensation. Only after 1235 does the Count of Louvain/Brabant present himself as Duke of Brabant.

Baarle was at this time not the only collection of enclaves and the enclaves were not the only inhabited parcels. The count of Louvain kept his personal feudal link with the people in the region that already before 1198 had sided with him.

These persons and their houses and fields in various places like Heerle, Roosendaal, Nispen, Sprundel, Hage, Zundert, Wernhout and in Baarle, came to fall under the jurisdiction of Zandhoven, a countal court east of Antwerp.
In the medieval sources you can find “Hage-Hertog”, “Zundert-Hertog” and so on, and not only “Baarle-Hertog”. In fact Baarle-Hertog consists completely of ducal fiefs and fiefs of rented out parcels of those fiefs. Dating from that moment, a difference was born between those parts of Baarle under the Duke of Brabant, and those parts of Baarle (and Heerle, Wernhout, etc.) under the Lordship of Breda.

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The presuppositions for the existence of BAARLE-NASSAU were thus created around 1198, but it is only from 1404, when the Counts of Nassau in Germany became also Lord of Breda, that the name “Baarle-Nassau” can be found.”

This is how there came to be a complex network of enclaves and counter enclaves, and why the village has a Dutch name “Baarle-Nassau” and also a Belguium one: “Baarle-Hertog’.”

I wondered how it was not possible for piece of Dutch land to be sold to a person from Belgium, or visa versa and for this land situation to be resolved.

This however is not possible because the soil itself comes as part of each countries jurisdiction and remains so, no matter the nationality of the owner.

All over the village and surrounding area are markers to show where the borders of the two countries are.

Painted crosses are mostly on pavements, small silver circular disks demark streets, with one side of the street being Dutch, the other half belonging to Belgium.

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November 23, 2017

I Can Hear Voices From The Past…

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Standing in front of the old “Stadhuis” (Town Hall) in Baarle Nassau is not just the two hundred year old pump of yesterdays post but also something far more modern.

The item in question is a local and visitor information memorial piece, from a series called the “Liberation Route Europe“.

I learn from their website that: “Liberation Route Europe is a continuously growing, international remembrance trail that connects important milestones from modern European history. It forms a link between the main regions along the Western Allied Forces’ advance from southern England, to the beaches of Normandy, the Belgian Ardennes, South Eastern provinces of the Netherlands, the Hürtgen Forest and on to Berlin.

The route then continues to the Polish city of Gdansk, where a democratic revolution for overcoming the division of Europe was launched nearly two generations later. Since 2016 the Liberation Route Europe started the development of the Southern route, starting in Sicily.

This marker in Baarle commemorates the “The Battle of the Scheldt” and the information panel tells us: “What happened on and around this place during the liberation days in the autumn of 1944? You can hear and see these events at these Liberation Route Europe posts.

For the Allies, the port of Antwerp was of great strategic importance. They could only use it if these banks of the Scheldt and the roads to it were free of German troops. And so, during the Battle of the Scheldt, the war raged in all its horror. With all the tragic consequences for the military and civilians. Turn the wheel and listen to their experiences. Or download it free via http://www.liberationroute.com or via the app.”

There is a second paragraph on the board that tells us: “The 28 days of Baarle“, “On the 1st of October 1944, the 1st Polish Armoured Division enters the Netherlands to the south of Baarle-Nassau. But it will take 28 days before the german troops were completely driven out of this area. Meanwhile, the local residents wait on events in their shelters.”

Going to the Liberation Route Europe website and finding the page that concerns Baarle, I also discover a slightly more expanded text about events here: “On Sunday the 1st of October 1944, led by General Maczek, the 1st Polish Armoured Division began military operations in West Brabant. They entered the Netherlands at the village of Zondereigen. The inhabitants of Baarle sought refuge in shelters. They would spend a lot of time in them, because Baarle was only liberated after 28 days. The German army had reinforced its troops. Led by Hauptmann Mager, the 2nd Battalion of the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment participated in the fighting.

Through a shrewd tactic, German paratroopers destroyed dozens of Polish tanks. General Maczek had to wait a long time for reinforcements. They had to be transported all the way from Normandy. The residents of Baarle had to helplessly watch their village being turned into smoking rubble. The destruction of the impressive Belgian church, in particular, made a deep impression. On the 28th of October 1944, Baarle is finally liberated.”

As I have mentioned many times previously, I feel it is important to keep history alive, not just because of the sacrifices that others made on our behalf, but also because I hope that learning from the mistakes of history means never having to repeat them.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

General Maczek

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Damage to the Remigius church…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Liberation Route Europe
https://liberationroute.com/pages/liberation-route-europe

August 30, 2017

Showing Some Amazing Flexibility…

Filed under: GOUDA,Historical,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Having found the site of the Gouda’s Molenwerf and (rather disassembled) Motte of yesterdays post, I find myself passing a small garden.

My destination at this moment though, was to find the house behind the motte that had the fish ornamentation   which was at the back.

The only way to it was via two small bridges on a tight curve. Having photographed the “fish house” I turn my lens to a building directly opposite it, one that can not fail to capture a visitors attention.

It’s quirky leanings had me wondering about  structural integrity and how on earth it was possible for a small building to be leaning out at the spot over the doorway and leaning in at the end of the same wall just a short distance away.

This is what  building would look like if it were drunk. It also looked like someone thin, frail and elderly who bends at the knees, and has at the same time hunched shoulders. That said, here is probably nothing thin about the walls in a building this old. Thick walls were standard in the 1600’s and this buildings stout construction helps it to bend when age and subsidence crept into it’s bones.

I am delighted to find that here is an information plaque on the side of the building, but as usual, only in Dutch,  translated here Thanks to Himself (I was tired and making mistakes).

The name of this building is “het Tapijthuis” (which literally means “carpet house’). “This late medieval building owes it’s name to the Flemish weavers who fled at the end of the 16th century to the northern part of the Netherlands (from an area that is now present day Belgium). In buildings such as these they continued their work where they left off when they had to flee. Later, in the 17th century,  it housed one of thekloppenscholenfrom Gouda. 

Aklopjeis a woman who does the work of a nun but who is not a nun herself.  (teaching, visiting sick etc) Such catholic schools were prohibited, but the city council  in Gouda did not enforce that rule. At regular intervals the church council of the adjacent St Jans church (Protestant) asked for the school to be closed, but in vain. At a later stage it housed a brewery and after that, the auction house of the father of the writer Herman de Man.

It’s interesting to see that in a time when relations between Protestants and Catholics was fractious, that some people and organisations such as the city council of the time exercised common sense. They must have seen the good work in the community done by these “klopje” women and found that this contribution overruled the pesterings and annoyance of the St Jans church council.

This Catholic / Protestant divide is a theme that I will expand upon in a future post,  since I have discovered some quirky information about this that is bizarre when seen from a non-European perspective. That however is for another day. (Soon!). The occupants and use of ” het Tapijthuis” changed greatly with the times and so over the centuries this building has both literally and figuratively shown some amazing flexibility.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

This last photograph if the rear of the building…

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

August 29, 2017

A Water Course Of Course…

Filed under: GOUDA,Historical,PHOTOGRAPHY,THE NETHERLANDS — kiwidutch @ 1:00 am
Tags: , ,

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

My next stop at the back of St Jans Church in Gouda, is called “Molenwerf en Motte“.

There is a substantial building here and attached an Information board in Dutch.

Translated into English it reads: “”Molenwerf en Motte”.

In the 12th century there was a fortification at this location: a round, several meters high wall, a so called “motte”.

To the east of it, up to the Groeneweg was a major courtyard and homestead with living quarters stables, grainery and such.

To the west of the ‘burchtheuvel” (man made mound /motte) were the buildings forming the ‘voorhofstede” (buildings situated just before the homestead).

All of this belonged to the Lords van der Goude, the Lords of the city of Gouda.

Also a private chapel on the location of the current St Jans Church formed part of their domain.

The city of Gouda grew around this borough. The high motte itself was only used in times of war and flooding, the first dikes were only made in the 12th century. The motte and the homestead were destroyed as a resut of war,  probably in 1304.  Later on houses were constructed in the area and on the motte, a mill was built. That’s why the current road, that goes straight over the motte, which was removed in 1369 is therefore called “Molenwerf”. The old fortification can still be slightly recognised by the slightly higher circular moat. The molenwerf crosses it on two little  bridges. ”

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

Underneath the illustration there is more text, which translated says:

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

In yellow letters parts of the possession of the Lords van der Goude
1,2,3; 14th century precursors  precursors to the city Hall (location is approximate)
4 and 5: 14th century house of local priest and latin School (location is approximate)
6: 14th century Catharina Gasthuis (hospital) on the location of the previous annexes to the homestead.

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

You are standing here
Probable old water course
–    Watercourse

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

(photograph © Kiwidutch)

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