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An open door for Geert




During the liberation of Spijk, Frouktje Brondsema (11) hid under the box bed with her father Willem and mother Jantje from the bullets and grenades. Her brother Geert was not there, he was arrested during a raid in Rotterdam and sent to a machine factory in Germany where he worked as a forced laborer.

“My father had put straw suits under the box bed to protect us from bomb fragments. In Spijk there was a lot of bombing which also resulted in civilian casualties.' Geert comes home not long after the liberation. “He had a red German sports bike with him. It looked really beautiful.' Geert Brondsema, like many other fellow villagers, reported to the Interior Forces. “There were still many explosives in the area that had not been detonated. They had to defuse it.” The leadership of the Interior Forces decided that all ammunition should be taken to a machine shed in the village, near the cemetery.

On Tuesday 12 June, Jantje Brondsema lays her clean laundry in the grass to bleach. “All of a sudden there was an explosion and shots were heard. Windows were popping out everywhere. We immediately understood that something was wrong.” Bullets, mortars, hand grenades: everything exploded. Seven men are killed. Against the gate at the cemetery is a red bicycle, twisted and blackened. Geert Brondsema and his cousin Luitje are also there. “They were buried together in three coffins. There was almost nothing left of them.' The explosion reverberates in the Brondsema family for a long time. “My mother left the back door open every night for many years. Geert's body was never found, was it? Imagine if he did come back, at least he could get in.”

Alberdaweg 13-15 9909 AJ Spijk