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My house during WWII


Beychevelle
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Shortly after we bought our house back in 1996 an older man rang at the door...a complete stranger.

He had an amazing story to tell...

"You know this is the adress where the engelandvaarders (people who fled to the UK after the German occupation to continue the war) made their plans and gathered before they made their escape?"

 

Hell no...I didn't knew that!

 

He continued...

"The son of the family who lived here was one of them. He became a fighter pilot. Killed in action in 1944"

 

After some research....the family who lived here was the family Burgwal...the son was Rudy Burgwal.

He served with the 322nd squadron flying Spitfires.

 

Burgwal_bij_de_propellor_zpssay9zoza.jpg

Holding the prop, Rudy Burgwal. (Note: the 1940 style orange with black borders triangle national marking) 

 

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudy_Burgwal (in Dutch)

 

Shot down by AA on the 12th of August 1944 near Le Genestet St. Isle (Loire region, France) while escorting Lancasters.

 

History can be very close, rest in peace Rudy Burgwal.

 

Rob

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Oh wow....

That is amazing.

 

What province / city do you live? There's a lot of history here... And if you're 'lucky' it can even come knocking on your door!

 

Thnx for sharing. Will you be building this spit?

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Den Haag...The Hague....bomenbuurt....Populierstraat number 19.

 

In a strange way this neighbourhood had it's share of "occupational hazzards". When the Germans lost the initiative..this neighbourhood became part of the Atlantik Wall. Whole streets were "evacuated" and the houses demolished...just 50 metres from were I live. Street names vanished to make place for a tank ditch.

 

So...now it's a mixture of lovely streets with houses from the twenties and thirties...and ugly post war fifties flats.

 

The tank ditch is no longer there, but a keen eye can see what happened on Google Earth.

 

btw...I'm thinking of some sort of brass plaque to commemorate, but I'm struggling with the text to go on it.

Soon nobody will remember and that's sad.

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About me building the Spit...I'm afraid it's not my comfort zone and I know very little about Spits.

 

I can share a bit more about the double edged sword....going personal now.

 

My father had to hide (onderduiken) during the war to avoid deportation and slave labour in the german war factories (the 109s I love to build now?).

My mother is half German...my grandmother came to the Netherlands after WWI to find a job...like many other German girls she became a maid here.

Mother and grandma suffered during the hunger winter of 44/45 and were discriminated for being German....or half German.

 

When I was a kid I met the farmers family where my dad found shelter during the war, I also met my grandma's family in Germany.

An uncle with one eye and one leg...a StuG driver who lost bits and pieces...and above all...his mental sanity in Russia. He hanged himself in 1968.

 

It's a pile of sadness and I can't show a model of a 109 to my father inlaw...he freaks out when he sees something WWII German. More than a sensitive subject!

 

War, a sad thing  :(

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Very interesting story Rob. We had a glorious day at the beach in Scheveningen last time we were over and looking at the map that's pretty close to you. Funny how these things crop up - I've just recently discovered that one of our favourite dog walking haunts was a POW camp for Italians during WWII.

Thanks for sharing, Gus

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Den Haag...The Hague....bomenbuurt....Populierstraat number 19.

 

In a strange way this neighbourhood had it's share of "occupational hazzards". When the Germans lost the initiative..this neighbourhood became part of the Atlantik Wall. Whole streets were "evacuated" and the houses demolished...just 50 metres from were I live. Street names vanished to make place for a tank ditch.

 

So...now it's a mixture of lovely streets with houses from the twenties and thirties...and ugly post war fifties flats.

 

The tank ditch is no longer there, but a keen eye can see what happened on Google Earth.

 

btw...I'm thinking of some sort of brass plaque to commemorate, but I'm struggling with the text to go on it.

Soon nobody will remember and that's sad.

 

I recently visited the Gemeentemuseum in Den Haag during the Bunker-day. They had a great display on the Tank ditch you're talking about.

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Yeah, true, but the exhibition overall was a bit of a let down. Somewhat meagre, I expected more from it.

 

What's nice...a few years ago they placed information boards across the city with what happened on those spots during the war.

Most of them are Atlantik Wall related, but also about other "events" like the british blooper bombardment of Bezuidenhout.

 

Instead of the V2 launch sites the RAF bombed out a residential area on 3rd of March 1945. 550 dead by mistake just before the end of the war.

What made this extra bitter...you can't bomb a V2 launch site because they were mobile and only showed up shortly before the actual launching.

The missed target area was an empty forrest.

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I just love stories like this.

 

I was raised in Gettysburg, PA.  Think "Battle of Gettysburg" 1-3 Jul, 1863 during the American War Between The States.

 

The house across the street from our house "The Dobbin House" built in 1776 was used as the "Underground Railroad" to help escaped slaves reach slave free states.  During the Battle of Gettysburg the Dobbin House was a field hospital.

 

For a long time is was a museum.  The Dobbin House is now a restaurant/tavern/B&B.

 

Cheers - Rick

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Den Haag...The Hague....bomenbuurt....Populierstraat number 19.

 

In a strange way this neighbourhood had it's share of "occupational hazzards". When the Germans lost the initiative..this neighbourhood became part of the Atlantik Wall. Whole streets were "evacuated" and the houses demolished...just 50 metres from were I live. Street names vanished to make place for a tank ditch.

 

So...now it's a mixture of lovely streets with houses from the twenties and thirties...and ugly post war fifties flats.

 

The tank ditch is no longer there, but a keen eye can see what happened on Google Earth.

 

btw...I'm thinking of some sort of brass plaque to commemorate, but I'm struggling with the text to go on it.

Soon nobody will remember and that's sad.

 

Ey, Beychevelle,

 

Is this the house?

 

Burgwal-house.jpg

Source: Google Streetview

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That's it!

 

number 17 is ground level, 19 first floor and 21 above us...2nd floor.

The window with the rounded top is our bedroom.

 

I think it is...or was...a typical Dutch way to to build city appartments (portiek woningen). Ours was build in 1917.

We love our house, old fashioned high ceilings and it just feels good. Quiet neighboorhood also.

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  • 2 years later...

Rob.

 

what a poignant story  and historical (And SO TRUE)  background  to your dwelling.

 

I would feel humble  to live in such a home that held such a history ..of sadness and joyful laughter and to have Had  Fighter pilot Rudy Burgwal live there.

Thank you for sharing.:wub:

 

did you get a plaque made and have it out up on the house wall for all to see.

In the UK,certain bodies in Government and local council offices , can apply to gave plaques put up outside those places/houses/homes etc which were frequented or lived in  by famous person/persons.

I think if you were to approached your Local  Town's Mayor  and outlined the historical background to the dwelling;they may consider such a plaque to commemorate it's very own Citizen for His services in recognition of what he did 

:hsmack:

just thinking out loud.

 

once again Thank you for sharing your story and enjoy living there.

photo from the other gentleman showing your home is delightful! :piliot:

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