Bombing on Eindhoven, my hometown, 19 September 1944


The liberation comes for the Eindhoveners on September 18, 1944. Exuberantly they celebrate. The Americans and Britons are greeted with cheers and songs. People dance on the streets and the joy is unprecedented.   But the day after, this changes abruptly to the opposite. German bombers appear above Eindhoven and bomb the city. Many civilian casualties are involved. Here on the Biesterweg,  where I was born and where my family lived , a bomb shelter packed with people gets a direct hit.

On 19 September 1944, 18.45 hours, it was initially still a party in Eindhoven. The previous day the city was liberated and the inhabitants stood along the streets to overtake their liberators. But in the course of the afternoon the mood changed. There were rumors that the Germans were resurrecting from Nuenen and Helmond. On that evening, at ten after seven, they dropped flares and 76 aircrafts, Junkers-88 and Dorniers-217 of the Kampgeschwader 2, 30 and 66 and Lehrgeschwader 1, part of the IX Fliegerkorps , attacked unnoticed Eindhoven. I still have the long-case clock or then which was stocked at that time by a bomb splinter They bombed Eindhoven. They were the transit routes of the British army corps: Aalsterweg, Stratumsedijk, Stratumseind, Rechtestraat, Wal, Emmasingel, Hertogstraat and surroundings. The British vehicles could not go any way. Vehicles loaded with ammunition and fuel exploded. Great fires arose everywhere. The number of victims among the citizens was enormous. On the Biesterweg, 41 people died when the shelter where they were sitting got a direct hit. In total 227 people died on the 19th of September. My parents on their way to the deadly bomb shelter didn’t reached that as my brother Kees of 4 years old in panic ran away in  a different direction, and they escaped death.  My family survived and my mother died age 94 and my father age 89 and are buried (see About)  next to the mass grave from September 1944, destiny ? My sister and brother are still alive in good condition.