Holandia / Historia

A Sunday that didn't seem like a Sunday




Contrary to their expectations, the Canadians reach the village of Hoogkerk unopposed on Saturday afternoon, April 14, 1945. The advance started at half past two in the afternoon from Eelderwolde.

They advanced via the current Ter Borglaan, Peizerweg and Zuiderweg. The undamaged bridge over the Hoendiep was reached after only an hour; yet the heavy tanks cannot cross it. They therefore park the vehicles on the grounds of the De Halm straw board factory, while waiting for a bailey bridge.

Hoogkerker Auke Noordhof went out that day to look for the liberators. He does not find them and returns home empty-handed. “If only you had stayed here,” he hears from his mother. “They stood here for a while next to the house”. At that moment, he could pull his hair out in regret. He will, of course, meet them later.

The Canadians plan to bombard the sugar factory at Hoendiep with heavy artillery. They assume it is a heavily defended stronghold. Shortly before the shelling, the factory commander calls and is told that the Germans have just left. A short time later, a group of fifty Germans reoccupied the factory.

Canadians advancing from the Paterwoldseweg – who first cleared the Zeeheldenbuurt – attacked the factory around 6 a.m. and quickly managed to force the Germans to surrender. The Canadians in Hoogkerk can then focus on their contribution to the encirclement and liberation of the Groningen city centre. Their spearhead: an attack on the German lines at the Hoendiep.

Hoogkerksterbrug, Zuiderweg, 9745 AA Groningen