Monument ‘forgotten’ bombardment unveiled

On Tuesday 17 September deputy mayor Lara de Brito unveiled a monument on Ericaplein. The monument, which commemorates the bombing of the Diedeweg and the neighbourhood known as Sahara, took place exactly 75 years ago and killed 40 of the city’s residents. 

 

In the presence of survivors, relatives and neighbours De Brito expressed her great appreciation for the efforts of the foundation and the neighbourhood residents. ‘I am touched by the fact that, 75 years later, the victims and their families are being commemorated. This monument finally gives them the attention that they deserve.’


De Brito added that the monument on Ericaplein will be given the same care as other war monuments in the city: ‘To continue to remind us that freedom is our greatest good. Hopefully today’s gathering and commemoration will mark the beginning of a long tradition.’

 

The bombing on 17 September 1944 was part of Operation Market Garden. The goal was to destroy German targets near Lexkesveer prior to the airborne dropping during the Battle of Arnhem. By accident, however, the bombs fell on the residential neighbourhood 750 meters north of the ferry. The 160 bombs took the lives of 40 people.

 

After the war the bombardment of the neighbourhood was more or less hidden away, but it was never forgotten by those involved. Two residents of Wageningen who grew up in that neighbourhood wanted to make sure that this bombardment would not permanently disappear in the mists of time. It was now or never, especially for the witnesses and family members still alive who have never forgotten the tragedy. This resulted in a foundation that was able to realise a monument in only a short time.

 

Many of the war monuments in Wageningen have been adopted by pupils of the diverse primary schools. When the monument on Ericaplein was unveiled, pupils from groups 7 and 8 of the Tarthorst primary school were present. They are going to adopt this monument. Each year the pupils in group 8 will ceremoniously transfer the care of the monument to group 7.