Jong, Jan de.

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Jan de Jong, born 28-07-1922 in Wieuwerd the son of farm worker Klaas de Jong (10-06-1897, Suameer, now: Sumar – 18-10-1937, Wartena) and Antje, born Jansma (05-11-1897, Oostermeer, now: Eastermar). By profession Jan was an Ironworker (shipbuilder)/ farm laborer/dairy worker.  As a person in hiding he worked at the Bijlsma shipyard in Wartena.

In the early morning of 10 May 1940, Dutch observers saw bombers from the German Luftwaffe flying in the direction of the North Sea. They assumed that they were on their way to England. Once over sea, the planes made 180-degree turns and flew back to attack the Netherlands. The Netherlands was at war.  Adolf Hitler justified the attack with a lie in an attempt to influence public opinion. He claimed that England and France had been planning to attack the German Ruhr Area via the Netherlands and Belgium. Some German soldiers were therefore surprised when they never encountered any English soldiers in the Netherlands.

The German armies also attacked the Netherlands in the south. There, Dutch troops blew up bridges to slow down the German advance. This did not always work out. Wehrmacht soldiers used a trick to conquer the strategically important Gennep railway bridge: dressed in Dutch uniforms, they overpowered the Dutch soldiers.

On the Grebbeberg, the Dutch army held out against the German army for three days. This line of defence consisted partly of flooded land. It temporarily slowed down the invaders. Even so, the Grebbe Line fell on 13 May.

Rotterdam had been the scene of bitter fighting since the beginning of the attack, but the Germans had not succeeded in taking the city. And so, on 14 May 1940, German general Schmidt presented the Dutch command with an ultimatum. Unless Rotterdam surrendered that same afternoon, the city would be bombed.

The negotiators in Rotterdam did not know that the military leadership in Berlin had other plans. Hermann Göring, leader of the Luftwaffe, meant to use terror bombing to force the country to surrender. Even before the ultimatum had expired, the German bombers appeared unexpected on the horizon. They dropped their bombs over the city centre. When the smoke cleared, 80,000 people had lost their homes and between 600 and 900 people had died.

Death and burial ground of Jan de Jong.

On 07-07-1943, an unexpected raid was held in the village by the Germans, to find workers for the German war industrie. At that moment, Jan was busy making hay in the pasture of farmer Marten de Vries. To escape from the Germans he sailed across the Wartenaster Wijd in a boat. Jan wanted to hide in the reed field bordering this water. However, the Germans discovered him. He was killed on the spot by a shot to the head. During the same raid, fellow local Marten de Vries was also shot dead.

Marten de Vries, born on 22-06-1922 in Wartena, died on 07-07-1943, age 20 in Wartena, son of Siebe de Vries and Wijtske Swart.He went into hiding in 1943. While making hay in the Leechlan on 07-07-1943, a raid was carried out, during which De Vries tried to escape in the high reeds. While he was fleeing, he was fatally struck by a bullet. He was buried at the General Cemetery in Wartena.

The names of both victims are on the memorial in front of the former town hall on the Stationswei in Grou. Marten de Vries (22-06-1922 Wartena). Grou was the main town of the municipality of Idaarderadeel, which was dissolved at the end of 1983 and merged into the municipality of Boarnsterhim. After a new merger, Grou now falls under the municipality of Leeuwarden.



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