Always remember: minister plans to safeguard more heritage from WWII

Ingrid van Engelshoven, the Minister of Culture in the Netherlands, is making plans to make sure heritage that is connected to the Second World War is safeguarded, reports NU.nl

“We are celebrating 75 years of freedom this year,” says Van Engelshoven. “For me, the memory of freedom also means that we continue to protect heritage from this period to tell stories about war and [the] occupation throughout the Netherlands. Stories that are not only about then but also about now: they teach us how important freedom is and how important it is to have an eye for the other.”

Amongst these plans, she wants the Waalsdorpervlakte and the Oranjehotel to be deemed as national heritage monuments, and to protect and conserve the Dutch parts of the Atlantic Wall.

Waalsdorpervlakte

The Waalsdorpervlakte is in a dune area called Meijendel in The Hague. It is an open space where 250 fighters from the Dutch resistance were shot and killed. It is also the site where one of the biggest commemorations takes place on May 4, the National Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. All the people who lost their lives are buried in Apeldoorn in the Field of Honor Loenen.

Monument_on_the_Waalsdorpervlakte
The Monument at Waalsdorpervlakte. Image: -JvL- from Netherlands [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Oranjehotel

It is a nickname given to a detention centre in Scheveningen. Between 1940 – 1945, more than 25,000 people were kept here to be interrogated by the German occupiers. Some were under the suspicion of and/or as a punishment for participation in the Dutch resistance activities. In September, it was restored to have a memorial centre inside the prison to remember and commemorate the victims.

oranjehotel
The prison at Scheveningen where 25,000 people were imprisoned, tortured and killed. Image: Nationaal Archief [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Atlantic Wall

The Atlantic Wall was a coastal line of defence that was built along the coast of continental Europe, to prepare for a suspected invasion from the Allied Powers. Its construction in The Hague led to many residents being forced out, and the village of Scheveningen being surrounded by lines of bunkers and barriers. There are large parts of it in the Netherlands that have been conserved and protected.

Have you visited any of these World War 2 memorial sites in the Netherlands? Let us know in the comments below!

Feature Image: PL van Til/Wikimedia Commons

Kavana Desaihttps://medium.com/@kavanadesai
Coping with the aftermath of her 3-year stint in the Netherlands, Kavana is a writer, content creator and editor for DutchReview. Hailing from India, she frequently blogs about the Netherlands, being Indian in the Netherlands, and everything in between. She envisions herself to one day be the youngest person to win that Nobel Prize for Literature (she is also not very humble but welcomes only constructive criticism). In the meantime, she fills her days with writing for DutchReview, writing her master's thesis on art theft, and writing fiction that will hopefully see the light of day soon.

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