Holandia / Historia

SD and SS men flee from Zoutkamp to Schiermonnikoog




Out of fear of being arrested by the Canadians, a group of SD and SS men fled from Groningen to Zoutkamp on 15 April 1945. Here they took the boat to Schiermonnikoog, where they took up residence in various farms. It was not until May 31, 1945 that the group was picked up from the island and imprisoned in the city of Groningen.

In the night of 14 to 15 April, a group of SD and SS men fled from the Scholtenhuis in Groningen in the direction of Zoutkamp. Most of them would be arrested upon liberation. They were prepared for this, because they had devised a plan to flee to Germany via Schiermonnikoog. This group of 165 men and women included the infamous Robert Lehnhoff, better known as 'the executioner of Groningen', and Peter Schaap, who had shot ten resistance men at Bakkeveen a few days earlier. The high-ranking men and women went by car to Zoutkamp, ​​while a large part had to make the trip to West Groningen by bicycle. The group wanted to sail to Schiermonnikoog with the buoyancy vessel the “Lauwers”.

The SD and SS men did not succeed in getting the engine to start. Out of frustration, they shot through the windows of the Westra family, who lived next to the buoyancy shed. Finally, a resident was called in to help. Early in the morning they sailed out of the harbor of Zoutkamp with three boats. The group needed housing and was billeted in several farms on the island. The residents of 'De Kooiplaats' were told that they had to leave their farm. The newcomers sought shelter in the stables, the attics and the duck decoys. Robert Lehnhoff secluded himself in one of those duck huts.

The refugees stayed on Schiermonnikoog for more than a month. On Sunday April 22, 1945, Zoutkamp was liberated by the Canadians. They came from the Frisian side and fired a few times towards the harbor of Zoutkamp. The Germans fled to the harbor area and were captured here. However, no action was taken to go to Schiermonnikoog and arrest the group of SD and SS. In the end, the resistance fighter Herman Kloppenborg from Winschoten - in the uniform of Canadian Major - visited Schiermonnikoog.

On May 31, 1945, the group was collected from Schiermonnikoog. In the afternoon they were brought ashore in Zoutkamp. Under the great interest of the local residents, the men and women were transported in trucks to Groningen, where they were locked up in the House of Detention. It was not until 11 June 1945 that the last German soldiers left Schiermonnikoog.

Reitdiepskade 11, 9974 PJ Zoutkamp