The Netherlands / Audiospot

The bombing of September 19, 1944

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Liberation comes to the people of Eindhoven on 18 September 1944. They celebrate exuberantly. The Americans and British are greeted with cheers and chants. People dance in the streets and the joy is unprecedented. But the day after, it abruptly turns into its opposite. German bombers appear above the city of Eindhoven and bomb the city, resulting in many civilian casualties. Here, on the Biesterweg, a shelter packed with people is hit.

On September 19 1944, Eindhoven was still partying. The city had been liberated the previous day, and people lined the streets to welcome their liberators. But in the course of the afternoon, the mood changed. There were rumours the Germans were advancing from Nuenen and Helmond.

In the evening, German Luftwaffe planes appeared over the city. They bombed Eindhoven. They targeted the transit routes of the British army corps: Aalsterweg, Stratumsedijk, Stratumseind, Rechtestraat, Wal, Emmasingel, Hertogstraat and the surrounding area. The British vehicles had nowhere to go. Loaded with ammunition and fuel, they exploded. There were fires everywhere. The number of casualties among civilians was enormous. 41 people died on the Biesterweg, when the shelter they were in took a direct hit. In total, 227 people died on September 19.

Biesterweg 24, Eindhoven