The Netherlands / Story

The drama at the Lingedijk




Remarkably, at the site of one of the greatest tragedies in Tiel's war history, there is no remembrance mark. Yet one of the most dramatic events took place at this location. On 11 June 1945, six small children were playing here. One of them found a nice shiny box and turned the knobs. It was a German mine. Five children died in the explosion, one survived but kept the terrible memory all his life.

When the war was over, there were still dangerous explosives in many places in the Rivierenland area. Even now, they are occasionally found. In 1945, Tiel was not yet safe for the evacuees who returned to their homes. Five children experienced this in a terrible way on 11 June 1945.

The children killed in Tiel were certainly not the only victims to perish after the liberation. While many recollections have been published over the years and many victims came into the picture posthumously, very little attention has been paid to these post-liberation victims.

On the Lingedijk, there was a commemoration on 4 May 2009. This was organised by Koos van der Kolk, a witness at the time. He wrote in his memories:

It is 11 June 1945, around three in the afternoon. A deafening bang. The whole area shakes. What I find a moment later cannot be described with a pen. There are children lying on the ground: badly injured or dead. I don't know. Screams everywhere. Crawling and bleeding children. I know them all, one by one. Children of Sijsma, little boy van Zijderveld, and girl Bennink, and boy Simons, friends, brothers and cousins.