Remembrance day 2014

I remember when I was a child my dad used to tell me about the war. And that the war had destroyed Rotterdam, the city where I was born. On 14 May 1940 the Germans bombed the historic city center with 97.000 kilogrammes of explosives which led to the capitulation of the city. The rest of The Netherlands followed after the Germans threatened to do the same to Utrecht and other large cities.

Image: Public Domain   |   Creative Commons License CC0 1.0

For minutes that day the air raid alarm sounded and people ran to bomb shelters and cellars to hide for the bombs raining down on them. It lasted just over 15 minutes and in that time over 24,000 houses burned down, 32 churches and 2 synagogues were destroyed. Over 800 people died that day and 80.000 became homeless. The centre of Rotterdam turned into a smoking pile of rubble.

Image: Public Domain   |   Creative Commons License CC0 1.0

Walking through the rebuilt city centre with my father one day there was this statue, made by Zadkine. And when I asked him what it was he told me it was a man crying to God lifting his hands up to heaven. His heart torn out, a hole in his body as he went down on his knees, dying.

The image in this article has been replaced by a placeholder image in anticipation to EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, Article 17 – Right to property becoming effective.

I have no words to describe what I am feeling except than great sadness. I remember the fallen, those who fought for our freedom.

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Leendert van Gemeren

Dit ben ik, Leendert. Ik ben een beetje ouderwets en houd van dingen die geweest zijn, bijvoorbeeld oude Engelse series op TV zoals All Creatures Great And Small, mechanische horloges, bifocale brillen en oude langspeelplaten. Ik houd niet van moderne dingen en werk regelmatig aan een ouderwetse modelspoorbaan. Ik volg Jezus en schrijf mijn gedichten soms ook over Hem maar ik schrijf ook verhalen over het leven. Excentriek. Op feestjes ben ik vaak te vinden in de keuken.


This is me, Leendert. I am a little bit old-fashioned and I love things from the past, old series like All Creatures Great And Small, mechanical wristwatches, bi-focal glasses and vinyl records for example. I am not keen on modern things and I often work on this old style model railway. I follow Jesus and sometimes write a poem about Him but I also write about my life. Eccentric. You can often find me in the kitchen at parties.

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