Schiermonnikoog-The Forgotten Island

History of Sorts

Although the Netherlands was liberated on the 5th of May and VE day was on the 8th of May. It took more then a month after the official liberation of Europe for this Island at the north of the country to be liberated.

It was on the 11th of June 1945 before Schiermonnikoog was freed from German occupation, making it the last place in Europe to be liberated.

Schiemonnikoog is an Island situated in the “Waddenzee”-Wadden Sea,which is an intertidal zone in the southeastern part of the North Sea. It lies between the coast of northwestern continental Europe and the range of Frisian Islands, forming a shallow body of water with tidal flats and wetlands

Ironically another Island in the Wadden Sea,Texel, was considered the last battle field in Western Europe.

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/02/29/forgotten-history-europes-last-battle/

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Schiermonnikoog was the last place in the Netherlands to be liberated from the Germans after WWII. It took until June 11…

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When the Pope tried to kill Hitler.

History of Sorts

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The role of the Catholic church has often been questioned and criticized , and to en extent rightfully so.Pope Pius Pius XII. sometimes derided as ‘Hitler’s Pope’ because of his reluctance to condemn Nazi war crimes, was allegedly trying to stir up German agitators and convince them to strike down the Führer from within.
Historian Mark Riebling claims that Pius’s apparent silence on Hitler’s atrocities against Jews, minorities and even members of his own church was in fact cover while he tried to help members of the German resistance.
His recently -released book, Church of Spies, details secret conversations held by Pius’s go-betweens, who linked high-ranking Germans dismayed with Hitler’s leadership with the Allies, in the hope of securing a way out without the massive bloodshed of the Second World War

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Backed by a mass of carefully compiled documentation, Riebling shows that Pius cooperated in a variety of plots, initiated by patriotic…

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The Liberation of Maastricht

History of Sorts

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Today marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Maastricht, the first city in the Netherlands to be liberated from the Germans.

Due to the fact that the small village of Wyck,nowadays a suburb of Maastricht) had been liberated on the 13th of September by 117 Old Hickory, the commander of the 353rd division,General Paul Mahlmann, of the Wehrmacht decided not to defend the the city and joined the the 176th division in Maasmechelen (Belgium) during the night of the 13-14th September.

In the early morning of the 14h of September the commander ,Colonel Johnson, of the 117th regiment of the Old Hickory division, accompanied by Major Giles,Private Killinworth and a radio operator, crossed the Maas (Meusse) in a small boat, watched by hundreds of Maastricht residents.

After the city was combed for potential German soldiers left behind it was declared liberated in the evening on Thursday the 14th of…

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The Liberation of Mesch-the Netherlands

History of Sorts

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This day marks the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Mesch. The first village in the Netherlands to be liberated.

It was more than three months after the Normandy landings when the men of the Thirtieth Infantry Division, Old Hickory, commanded by Captain Kent, crossed the Dutch-Belgian border at ten o’clock in the morning on September twelfth, 1944.

Much of France and Belgium had already been liberated, and the Allies were trying to advance to the Westwall or Siegfried Line, the defence line that the Germans had built along their border.

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In Mesch, people could hear the loud rattling of the German troops clearly retreating with horse-drawn carriages filled to the brim with everything and anything of value that they could find.

School teacher Sjef Warnier, who lived in Mesch, told a reporter about his first encounter with the liberators.

“There was a machine gun firing on the school playground…

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Johan Westerweel: Forgotten Hero

History of Sorts

joopJoop Westerweel (January 25, 1899, Zutphen – August 11, 1944, Vught) was a schoolteacher[2] and a Christian anarchist who became a Dutch World War II resistance leader, the head of the Westerweel Group.

Westerweel along with Joachim Simon and other Jewish and colleagues, helped save in the region of 200 to 300 Jewish lives by organizing an escape route, smuggling Jews through Belgium, France and on into neutral Switzerland and Spain. He was arrested on March 10, 1944, after leading a group of Jewish children to safety in Spain, whilst on his way back to the Netherlands at the Dutch/Belgian border. He was executed at Herzogenbusch concentration camp(Kamp Vught) in August 1944.

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Johan (Joop) Westerweel began his teaching career in the Dutch East Indies, but was expelled for refusing to be drafted into the army because of his pacifist convictions. His strict Christian background – his parents belonged to the Derbists…

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Sittard & Geleen during WWII

History of Sorts

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To most of you the names of these 2 towns will mean virtually nothing but it is where my roots are. I was born and raised in Geleen.

Sittard-Geleen  is a municipality in the southeastern Netherlands. It was formed in 2001 from the former municipalities Sittard, Geleen and Born.

The Netherlands was a neutral country, during WWI this neutrality had not been breached, however on the 10th of May 1940 the Germans breached the Dutch neutrality by invading the country.

Below are some pictures and stories of the period just before the start of WWII,during and after WWII of the Geleen Sittard regions and its surrounding villages.

Church wedding of a dutch Soldier in 1939 at the St Catharina Church,Grevenbicht. His comrades form a guard of honor.

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Dutch soldiers on parade on the Market square in Sittard, shortly before the invasion. Dutch troops had been mobilized for the eventuality the Germans would invade

10th of May 1940. German…

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SRV-The death of a Legend.

History of Sorts

I am very careful when it comes to calling someone a hero, for so many who are considered a hero , often aren’t. However in this case I can say that SRV-Stevie Ray Vaughan was one of my heroes. The man who made playing guitar look cool again.

On August 26, 1990, Vaughan performed two shows with Eric Clapton at Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin.

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Some of the musicians boarded four Chicago-bound helicopters, which were waiting on a nearby golf course. Vaughan, along with three members of Eric Clapton’s entourage (agent Bobby Brooks, bodyguard Nigel Browne, and assistant tour manager Colin Smythe), boarded the third of the four helicopters—a Bell 206B Jet Ranger—flying to Meigs Field.

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In Clapton: The Autobiography, Clapton explains that, contrary to rumors, his seat was not given to Vaughan, but three members of Clapton’s entourage were on board with Vaughan. According to a witness, there was haze and fog with patches of…

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Captain John Morrison Birch

History of Sorts

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One could argue that World War 2 actually never ended. Sure ,when Japan surrendered on the 15th of August in theory the war ended. Bur only 2 days after Sukarno and Mohammad Hatta proclaim the independence of Indonesia,

igniting the Indonesian National Revolution against the Dutch Empire, also involving the Australians and the British.

Then 8 days later, on August 25 1945, Captain John Morrison Birch is murdered by Chinese Communist soldiers in Xuzhou, Jiangsu, China. Which by some is seen as the first casualty of the Cold War.

JohnMBirchJohn Morrison Birch (May 28, 1918 – August 25, 1945) was an American Baptist minister, missionary, and United States Army captain who was a U.S. military intelligence officer in China during World War II. Birch was killed in a confrontation with Chinese Communist soldiers a few days after the war ended. He was posthumously awarded the Army Distinguished Service Medal.

Birch grew up in a…

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Forgotten History-Liechtenstein during WWII.

History of Sorts

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Most people outside of Europe probably won’t even know this tiny nation exists,and even some Europeans will never have heard of this small Alpine country with a population of 37,000(only about 11,000 during WWII)

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Like it’s bigger neighbor,Switzerland, Liechtenstein stayed neutral during WWII. But like the other neutral nations, the neutrality was relative and open to interpretation.

Liechtenstein, previously closely tied to Austria-Hungary, grew close to Switzerland after WW1. In 1919, Liechtenstein entrusted its diplomacy to Switzerland.In the spring of 1938, just after the annexation of Austria into Greater Germany, eighty-four-year-old Prince Franz I abdicated and was succeeded by his thirty-one-year-old grand nephew, Prince Franz Joseph II.

While Prince Franz I claimed that old age was his reason for abdicating, it is believed that he had no desire to be on the throne if Germany gobbled up its new neighbour, Liechtenstein. His wife, Elisabeth von Gutmanwhom he married…

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