September 5-1944. Dolle Dinsdag-Mad Tuesday

On Tuesday September 5, 1944, after the liberation of Antwerp, Belgium, rumors arose about the imminent arrival of the Allies in the Netherland
The population is preparing to welcome the liberators. Some illegal newspapers publish a liberation issue. The Germans do not intervene. Many German soldiers even fled. 60,000 NSB members leave for Germany on special trains. On September 6, everything turns out to be a mistake.
September 5, 1944 would go down in history as ‘Mad Tuesday’

On 4 September 1944 the Allies had conquered Antwerp, and it was thought that they already advanced into the Netherlands. Radio Oranje broadcasts, one by the Prime Minister-in-exile Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy, increased the confusion; twice, in just over twelve hours (at 23.45 on 4 September and again in the morning of the 5th), they announced that Breda, 8 kilometers from the border with Holland, had been liberated (though in fact this success would not be achieved until 29 October 1944 by forces of 1st Polish Armoured Division of General Maczek). The news spread rapidly, with underground newspapers preparing headlines announcing the “fall of Breda”.

Further fueling speculation, German occupation officials Arthur Seyss-Inquart (appointed Reichskommissar for the Occupied Netherlands in May 1940) and Hanns Albin Rauter, SS and police leader announced a “State of Siege” for the Netherlands to the 300,000 cable radio listeners and in the newspapers of the following day:

The population must maintain order … it is strictly forbidden to flee areas that are threatened by the enemy. All orders from the military commanders must be strictly adhered to and without question … any resistance to the occupation forces will be suppressed with force of weaponry. Any attempt to fraternize with the enemy or to hinder the German Reich and its allies in any form will be dealt with harshly; perpetrators will be shot.’

Despite the threats, many Dutchmen celebrated on the streets while preparing to receive and cheer on the Allied liberators. Dutch and Orange flags and pennants were prepared, and many workers left their workplace to wait for the Allies to arrive. The extent of this optimism as measure of Dutch attitudes to Occupation has been hard for historians to gauge in the absence of any contemporary surveys, but it can be discerned as significant by researchers accessing diaries and finding an increase in births in statistics nine months after Dolle Dinsdag. German occupation forces and NSB members panicked: documents were destroyed and many fled the Netherlands for Germany. Ary Willem Gijsbert Koppejan (1919—2013), a member of the resistance organisation De Ondergedoken Camera (the Underground Camera), secretly photographed German troops fleeing the city and soldiers and collaborators waiting at the Den Haag railway station on Dolle Dinsdag.

German occupation forces and NSB members got in a panic .documents were destroyed and many fled the Netherlands for Germany.

Many of the NSB fled temporarily to the Lüneburger Heide in Germany. While the NSB leader .Mussert , moved more eastward to Almelo. The illegal newspaper “Het Parool” reported on the 11th of September on how these NSB”Heroes” fled the country.

On September 6 a train carrying wives and children of members of the NSB headed for Germany. The train was attacked by allied planes and about 30 passengers were killed. I do feel sorry for the wives and especially the children for they were innocent bystanders but I do also believe this was karma, and the irony is not lost on me for the NSB had helped to put so many Jews and other on trains to their final destinations.

The name ‘Dolle Dinsdag’ was coined by Willem van den Hout, alias Willem W. Waterman, who first used it in the Dutch Nazi propaganda newspaper ‘de Gil’ (the yel) which was funded by the German propaganda department.

On that same day the resistance groups also set up the Domestic Armed forces,. However this was not as a result of Dolle Dinsdag.

In August 1944, the three major national resistance organisations, Ordedienst (OD), Landelijke Knokploegen (LKP) and Council of Resistance (RVV), asked the government in London to plead with the Allies for the recognition of Dutch illegality as a regular armed force. The government in exile then made a number of demands: further bundling of the resistance and the acceptance of a one-man leadership in the person of Prince Bernhard. The resistance organizations agreed: on September 5, 1944, the Domestic Armed Forces (BS) were established.

Below some further impressions of Dolle Dinsdag


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