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

“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.


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.

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


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.

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


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