May 4, 2020

Wartime art: one hundred chairs for one hundred victims

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 5:44 pm

At the end of WWII, 140 men were shot by the German occupiers at Rozenoord in Amsterdam South district, many of which were resistance fighters. The history of Rozenoord is particularly painful since the men were shot so close the liberation.

Located in the Amstelpark in Amsterdam South district, the Rozenoord monument saw the light of day thanks to an initiative of local residents. Artist Ram Katzir designed the new monument to give all the victims a worthy memorial place. Instead of one monument for 100 people Katzir gave every person their own monument.

Anchored in cement with names on plaques, one hundred chairs are spread out over a green space as if they were barely sat in and positioned randomly. However, the chairs were actually placed according to information about the way the victims were shot. There’s also plaques for those who could not be identified.

The space between the chairs invites visitors to walk around and see who these people were. They can also be sat on, as the piece is meant to be interactive. By sitting down, one can see the other ‘victims’ around them, turning the visitors into participants.

(Link and photo:

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August 8, 2019

Old bombs found near railroad in Naarden-Bussum

Filed under: Food & Drink by Orangemaster @ 11:41 am

During construction along the railroad in Naarden-Bussum, North Holland workers dug up some bombs, which according to ProRail, are most probably from WWII. I can’t imagine from wat other war they could be from, since the Dutch weren’t really involved in WWI. I say this as someone who recommends reading The Art of Staying Neutral: The Netherlands in the First World War, 1914-1918. When the Dutch mention ‘the war’, they always mean WWII.

The bombs will be exploded somewhere safe, as it is done here when they find bombs, which is quite regularly. It’s not sure whether this will delay the works along the railway or not, which are already planned to go on for three weeks.

Here are some of our past stories related to finding bombs and grenades:

(Link:, Photo of a 1000-pounder in Bunnik by the Ministry of Defense, some rights reserved)

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May 5, 2017

Pizza delivery guy goes viral during commemoration

Filed under: Bicycles,Food & Drink,History by Orangemaster @ 3:54 pm

Yesterday’s Remembrance of the Dead commemorated in the Netherlands on May 4 remembers all kinds of civilians and soldiers who died in WWII, Dutch or foreign, and nowadays also includes the fallen from other wars and major conflicts.

And then there’s this guy, a pizza delivery cyclist who stopped rushing around Groningen and joined in on the traditional, nation-wide two minutes of silence, taken at 20:00 on May 4.

After seeing the picture on Facebook, his boss said of his employee that ‘he did what he thought was normal’. The employer had told the staff of its 220 branches to honour the two minutes of silence, but didn’t expect someone to snap a picture of it.

(Link:, Photo of Pizza pie by Adam Kuban, some rights reserved)

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April 10, 2017

Amersfoort commemorates mass execution of Soviet prisoners

Filed under: History by Orangemaster @ 11:28 am

According to Remco Reiding of the Russisch Ereveld Foundation, April 9 marked 75 years since the second biggest mass execution in the Netherlands during WWII took place, a very little known history fact.

In September 1941 prisoners of war from the Eastern front, probably Uzbeks, made a two-week journey in cattle trucks to Amersfoort, Utrecht. They had been displaced, starved and beaten, and found themselves in a country where they could not communicate with others.

“The Nazis took them to the Netherlands to show Dutch people what untermenschen (‘those inferior people of the East’) looked like. They were paraded and exhibited like animals through the city on their way by foot to the camp while people watched. Once in the camp, they were left outdoors for days as a warning to Dutch prisoners.”

Instead of shocking Dutch onlookers, the prisoners caused a wave of sympathy, as the Dutch wanted to give them water, fruit and bread, which the Nazis did not allow. There was even a film crew charged with having the prisoners fight among themselves over some bread they threw to them, which also failed. The men took the bread and shared it instead, regardless of how hungry they were.

The terrible tragedy goes on, but in the end, the starving, mistreated soldiers had started dying off and were useless as a propaganda tool, so they were eventually all shot.


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January 8, 2009

Town outlaws use of metal detectors in ‘war forest’

Filed under: General,History by Branko Collin @ 8:05 am

The municipality of Haren in Groningen is considering outlawing the use of metal detectors, Groninger Internet Courant reports (Dutch). The town council wants to prevent people from digging up corpses and ammunition in the Appelbergen forest, where the Nazis buried 34 people they shot in retribution. Fifteen of those victims were never found.

A spokesperson of the municipality told that “The police regularly discover treasure hunters who think its exciting to search the forest. Though the chance is small, we don’t want them to start digging and find human remains. There’s a much bigger possibility they will find ammunition, also because the forest is a practice area for the army. That could lead to dangerous situations.”

Photo of the Appelbergen war monument by Wikipedia user Lampje, some rights reserved.

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