The Netherlands / Monument

'Bridge to Freedom'




In 2019 Axel commemorated and celebrated the 75th anniversary of its liberation by First Polish Armored Division. To permanently remember this event, War Museum Gdynia took the initiative for a new liberation monument at the Third Shortening.

On this spot, Polish soldiers built a Bailey bridge over the side canal from Axel to Hulst in September 1944 under very harsh conditions. The bridge became the gateway to the freedom of Axel and the rest of East Zeeuws-Vlaanderen.

The monument consists of parts of a Bailey bridge and a standing metal plate with the text "September 19, 1944 - First Polish Armored Division" and some lines of poetry by Wim Kooijman:

Here they built

in drowned clay

in fierce battle

the Bridge to our Freedom

'The Bridge to Freedom' came about partly through the support of the people and entrepreneurs of Axel.

Hulsterseweg, Axel