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The german armoured vehicles involved in the battle of Arnhem and Oosterbeek september Armour involved comes from the 9the and 10th SS panzer.
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A front page announcement in the Trouw newspaper on 8 September stated that C. Sleegers had been killed in a road accident while driving his car. Many readers continued reading unconcerned, but in Southeast Brabant and especially in Veldhoven, there was a shock reaction to the death of their fellow villager who had distinguished himself during the war in an unusual way.

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The family was not well off and the sons sold potatoes to make a living. They showed a lot of dislike for the German occupiers during the war. But eighteen year old Riek, one of the daughters , had different feelings as she was in love with a German Feldwebel sergeant.

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The fact that he was married with two children did not deter her. Resistance movements were established in many places in West Brabant during the period of occupation. When the Landelijke Organisatie voor Onderduikers National Organisation for Fugitives started organising itself in , the town of Rucphen was part of the Roosendaal district. An unexpected encounter took place there just before liberation.

For two long weeks the population hovered between fear and hope. The British started bombarding strategic targets in Germany soon after the start of the Second World War. The roar of the planes flying from England to Germany could often be heard in the Netherlands. That was the case on the evening of 23 May in Mierlo-Hout, two weeks after the war came to the Netherlands. The Jewish community in Geertruidenberg was small, its few members met every week on the Sabbath in the synagogue that stood in the shadow of the majestic Geertruidskerk church.

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This was not far from the Koestraat, where Bethrina Kooperberg grew up with her sisters and brother. By the time the Second World War broke out the sisters Netty, Betsy and Trijntje were already engaged or married, and no longer lived in Geertruidenberg. The oldest daughter Bethrina was still single and lived with her ageing uncle Salomon and her aunts Rika and Sofia Fie Kalker in the Stationsweg in Geertruidenberg.

She could often be found at the Van Beek family where she looked after the young children Jet and Jan.


Both American fighters played a heroic role during D-day: on 6 June they dropped paratroopers from the st Airborne Division in Normandy from their Dakota and then returned safely to their home base in Nottingham. These events signalled the start of the Allied advance in Europe. In the autumn of , thousands of paratroopers landed deep in enemy territory. They had to take and defend all the great river bridges until they received help from the Allied army that was advancing from the south.

This long-awaited operation inspired some ordinary Dutchmen to join the international force. Most of the thousands of Dutch soldiers who died during the Second World War did so at the beginning, when the Germans invaded. They were not even necessarily fighting when they were killed. That was the case for the first victim from Brabant too, who found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time on 10 May Because of his military experience, Stanislaw Maczek became commander of the 10th Motorised Cavalry of Poland in After the German invasion in he arrived in France via North Africa.

In France he fought against the Germans alongside other Polish fugitives. By the start of , Brabant had largely been liberated but was not yet safe.

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V-1 flying bombs were regularly flown over Brabant from the occupied area to strategic Allied targets, such as the port in Antwerp, but the V1s did not always hit their targets. Stories went around about Winando even before the war. The man, whose real name was Henk van Heusen, said he had many gifts, including an ability to predict the future. For the illusionist, uncertain times were golden times. The war ripped families and loved ones apart. Relatives left behind could do nothing except wait and hold on to every little piece of hope.

With my wife, who is alone. All I have now is the memory of the fairy tale of my past.

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However, the day that I will be with you again, is already in my mind. Someren had already been liberated and there was heavy fighting metres away at lock gate no. The English liberators attacked with heavy artillery, the Germans defended themselves stubbornly. Without warning a stray German grenade landed close to family Kruijf on the Slievenstraat. It exploded in the yard.

Allied troops landed on the coast of Normandy in June and quickly liberated Paris followed by Brussels and Antwerp. On 11 September of that year, British troops reached the Dutch border at Valkenswaard, prompting anxiety and excitement amongst those living in nearby villages like Borkel en Schaft, where the postman rushed through the streets to announce the good news.

For a lot of people, daily life continued during the war. The farmers kept their jobs and worked their land.

But most of the horses were taken by the Germans, which made work in the countryside extra difficult. For the farmer and his family, there was often little left to live on.

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The Battle of the Schelde was a large military operation in northern Belgium and south-west Netherlands. The operation was started by the Canadian 1st Army Division including Polish and British units on 1 October and continued until 8 November of that year. The most important aim was to liberate the River Schelde so that the allied supply ships could access Antwerp harbour.

The harbour itself fell into allied hands on 4 September and was virtually undamaged. But it was unusable for as long as the Germans had control of the Schelde. There was a ghostly atmosphere in Asten in the night of Wednesday 20 to Thursday 21 September British grenade fire had caused total ravage in and around the church. Asten was evacuated on the Thursday, followed that evening by the parish of Ommel, a favourite pilgrimage place to the Virgin Mary.

Many residents of Ommel were looking for shelter, but many stayed at home. They did not see the need to leave….

Before 1 November , the seven year old Rien van Broekhoven had been unaware of the severity of the war. At the end of October, the liberation of Brabant was in full swing. The villagers of Welberg had keenly awaited this moment. West Brabant was strategically important for the German army, and also for the Allied forces. From Friday afternoon on 6 October three Canadian battalions advanced towards Woensdrecht, passing right through the village of Hoogerheide. German soldiers sat waiting in foxholes and in the corn fields.

A battle ensued which lasted for days. Meanwhile many villagers were trapped like rats, including those in the neighbourhood of Zandfort. At the beginning of November the Allied advance came to a standstill at the Hollands Diep and de Bergsche Maas waterways. From that moment on the Land of Heusden and Altena became the front line, bringing with it much misery. Almost immediately, all the farms on river were evacuated, the start of a long series of evacuations.

Things were tense around the village of Best from 18 September onwards. American soldiers were approaching from Eindhoven, German soldiers were entrenched in the tall church tower in Best. Everyone was hoping for a quick liberation, but on the contrary things were getting more dangerous by the day: one day the village was in American hands, the next day it was back under the control of the Germans. On the orders of the Americans many people, and especially children, were evacuated from the area.

In September , the Allied forces started the largest airborne operation in history in order to free Europe from German occupation: Market Garden.

A ground attack was started from Belgium and an airborne assault from England. The objective of the Allied soldiers was to secure a number of important bridges in the Netherlands, after which they would be able to push through to the IJsselmeer and then to the German Ruhr area. The operation started on 17 September, when thousands of Allied parachutists landed between Eindhoven and Arnhem and to the southeast of Nijmegen.