Water as a weapon - Rindern - LRNL89

89. Water as a weapon

07-10-1944 - 30-04-1945

Wasserburgallee 120, Kleve, Allemagne
Mots-clés pour ce site historique
Destruction Migrations forcées Occupation
Liberation Route Europe

89. Water as a weapon

In October 1944, the German army devises plans to flood a large part of the Dutch-German border area in defence of an allied attack. In February 1945, German troops flood multiple areas around Cleves in an attempt to stop the allied advance.

Dykes are blown up and large areas, including the basement of the XOX factory, are flooded. 19-Year-old Jan Arie de Ruiter from the Netherlands experiences the events from close.
He writes about the XOX biscuit factory where he lives and works. He lives in a flooded cellar and hides from the heavy bombardments that take place above ground. Here he experiences being liberated by the Allies.

This is followed by a long and treacherous journey, some of which involves wading through knee-deep water. His diary paints a compelling picture of the extreme conditions in which civilians had to survive in the bitter cold, surrounded by water and shelling. It was not until the end of April 1945 that Jan Arie de Ruiter was able to touch Dutch soil again.

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Wasserburgallee 120, Kleve, Allemagne