Paesi Bassi / Audiospot

They looked like Easter eggs




Indicazioni stradali

The 22nd of March 1945. It is sunny in Nijverdal. Not a cloud on the horizon, so to speak. People are fairly accustomed to the threatening sound of bombers en route to Germany. There is huge surprise when, in the afternoon, a formation of American planes suddenly dives down and appears to discharge Easter eggs.

In the winter of 1944-1945, the Almelo-Zwolle railway line in Nijverdal has been the target of American bombers a number of times. The German V1 and V2 rocket installations in the municipality of Hellendoorn are also an important target for air strikes. Through this bombardment, the Allies attempt to block supply routes to and from Germany. Residents near the railway tracks in Nijverdal have moved as far away as possible or relocated elsewhere.

On the 22nd of March 1945, it is at last a beautiful sunny spring day and people in Nijverdal are glad that - just before Easter - they can again hang out their washing, do some gardening or scrub the floors. That afternoon, Auguste Lidolf and his son Eugène are planting cherry seeds. The Lidolf family moved from France to Nijverdal. Auguste is a mechanic operating the machines the Nederlandsche Stoom Blekerij purchased in France. His wife Louise is not at home that afternoon.

According to eyewitnesses, shortly after four o'clock, six planes suddenly fly low over the area. Above the village centre, they bank sharply and people can see the pilots in the cockpits. At the same time, they drop their bombs. Someone said they looked like Easter eggs. It was, after all, the week before Easter. But these Easter eggs had a devastating effect.

Later, it turned out that during this mistake bombardment, Nijverdal was subjected to three bombardments, during which 72 people lose their lives and dozens are wounded. Father and son Auguste and Eugène are also killed and would never see France again.

Tourist information

Grotestraat 13, Nijverdal, Hellendoorn - GPS code N 52 21.88, E 6 28.019