The Netherlands / Audiospot
On 8 April 1945, an aerial bombardment of a train at Meppel station kills dozens of people, including travellers of German nationality. Among the victims is Annelies Lehrmann.
In the early evening of April 8, 1945, a train on its way to Germany pulls into Meppel station. The train consists of several passenger coaches and freight cars. The passengers are mostly German, including several wounded on their way home. On the platform are more German travellers waiting to board the train. Meppel is home to quite a lot of German departments. More recently, police and military departments who are on the run for the allied troops and Organisation Todt made it their home. Organisation Todt is mainly active for the nearby airfield in Havelte.
Typhoons of the 83rd and 84th group of the Second Tactical Air Force, stationed at Eindhoven Airport, discover the stationary train and launch an attack. What follows are bombardments and exploding train carriages. The damage is extensive with dozens dead and injured. The victims are buried with military honour in the nearby Wilhelmina park the following day. On 29 November 1945, the bodies are transferred to section M. at the General Cemetery on the Zomerdijk, where fallen Germany soldiers are buried under black-wooden crosses. In February 1951, all Germans buried there are exhumed and reburied at the German military cemetery in Ysselsteyn.