Pays-Bas / Histoire

Evacuation of Appingedam




The inhabitants flee from the town of Appingedam because of the heavy German shelling by the German coastal artillery. The city was only just liberated on Monday 23 April 1945. The havoc is great. Many houses are destroyed by the fire. The fire brigade is almost powerless, partly because the water mains are not functioning.

Tuesday morning there is a little breather, as the shooting decreases. Many decide to run away and throngs of people leave on foot. They only take essential luggage with them. The Canadian army commands the evacuation order at 4 p.m. At nightfall, all 7,000 residents are outside the municipal boundaries.

Many refugees end up in Loppersum, Wirdum, Ten Boer, Oosterwijtwerd and Groningen after a long walk. About 25 people are left behind in the city. Among other things, they care for the dead and injured, extinguish the fires and try to prevent the Canadians from looting the abandoned houses – often in vain. Wednesday evening 2 May, a day after the liberation of Delfzijl, the decision was made to allow the population of Appingedam to return.

In the morning of May 2, the last German shells fall. Of the approximately 2000 homes, buildings and houses, only thirty remained undamaged.

Solwerderstraat 9901 CM Appingedam