Holandia / Pomnik

Black Christmas in Tiel




The monument commemorates the fusillade that took place in Tiel on 24 December 1944. The monument is located on the site of Tiel's former prison. Following the escape of the wife of a resistance fighter from the Tiel police station, eight men from Tiel were taken hostage. When the woman did not return, five men were executed in the prison courtyard by German troops.

The monument shows a picture of the prison and the names of the five victims. After the war, a simple memorial plaque was placed on the prison wall. However, this disappeared when the building was demolished in 1947. A new memorial did not appear until 2018 and the current one was placed in 2022.

Tiel prison was built as the House of Detention in 1860 and was located opposite the (still existing) court building. During the war, the building came under German control.

After the river Waal became the frontline between liberated and occupied Netherlands in the autumn of 1944, secret crossings over the river took place from Tiel. In particular, the Tiel resistance tried to help Allied soldiers who had ended up in occupied territory for various reasons (e.g. as aircrew of crashed aircrafts). German troops got wind of a planned crossing in December 1944.

They raided the house where the pilot in question was and captured him and the lady of the house. To prevent the woman from betraying the local restistance, resistance fighters freed her from the Tiel police station in the evening of 23 December. That same night and in the morning, eight Tiel men were arrested as taken hostage. The German occupying forces demanded the extradition of the woman in question. When that did not happen, five of the hostages were executed in the prison courtyard on 24 December at 13.05 in the afternoon.

Although the names of the responsible Germans are known, no one was ever punished for this war crime.

Spinhuisstraat, Tiel