Reconstruction aid in war zones

Reconstruction aid in war zones

Despite the ongoing conflict, Ukraine is also working on the reconstruction of devastated regions and regions. After World War II, our municipality also provided assistance to other parts of the Netherlands in the reconstruction.

by Cook Carson

Amerzoden, we will Wonderhemert

After World War II, some parts of our country were severely hit and destroyed, such as Bommelerwaard. However, the devotees’ villages survived the war years almost unscathed. So it was decided to help the affected areas. This happened quickly: five weeks after liberation!

The municipalities of Bodegraven and Reeuwijk have adopted Ammerzoden and Well, along with a number of municipalities in the North of the Netherlands. The assistance was organized by the Dutch People’s Recovery (NVH). Zwammerdam was set in the place of Nederhemert and Ammerzoden and Well were taken care of by Bodegraven, Reeuwijk and Langendijk. These places were already occupied by German forces in 1944 and largely destroyed after Mad Tuesday. On 5 September, the Dutch took to the streets because they believed they could be liberated at any moment by the rapidly advancing Allies. The Germans expected the English at Maaslinie and thus destroyed the villages at Bommelerwaard. The villages were further destroyed by shelling and fierce fighting during the subsequent liberation struggle.

When the residents returned after liberation, the house was not unscathed – the villages were a great ruin. Bodegraven sent a delegation to find out, after which relief work began under the leadership of Messrs. La Gro, Van Loo and Luring. On June 18, five weeks after liberation, Bodegraven held a batch of merchandise for the affected places. The resistance newspaper De Kroniek reported what was collected: 12,595 items of goods, including 1,181 items of furniture, 4,092 household items, 398 pairs of shoes, 1,198 children’s items, 661 items of clothing for girls and boys, and 600 items of outerwear for boys. Women and 700 pieces of underwear. For men, these were 609 and 539, respectively. They also collected bedding, carpets, and 900 other household items.

Already on July 13, the first ships from Reeuwijk and Bodegraven, full of resources, went to Bommelerwaard. On July 16, 40 thousand guilders were bred, among other things, by organizing various football matches between dealers. It is amazing how persistently the people of our villages continued to help so soon after the liberation.

It lacks just about everything

Everything was really lacking. There had to be hammers, nails, sickles and sickles for farmers, pencils for officials, and tools for the doctor. People also left to help immediately to rebuild places. Already on July 21, about forty carpenters left to start construction with the contractors of Bodegraaf. Under the leadership of Bodegraver C. Tromp, they worked hard to make Ammerzoden and Well habitable again.

Often it was a problem to get the necessary materials, such as glass for closing windows. Soon after the war, it also required a lot of effort to acquire beds, stoves, dishes, textiles, and other household items. However it succeeded. The cows were provided by farmers from the Rhine region to the severely affected farmers. On August 14, 250 cows were sent from Bodegraven and Nieuwerbrug to Ammerzoden. Rewik also supplied cattle, while Zoamerdam transported 100 cows to Nederheimert, a nearby town. By November 1, 80 to 85 percent of homes had been renovated to allow them to live in them again. All these actions were carried out by individuals and without official intervention.

Red Cross Publication

The Red Cross in Bodegraafse, with doctors from Bodegraven, worked to ensure that the doctor in Ammerzoden had tools, bandages and a motorbike back to visit his patients. The three municipalities also worked together to enable the establishment of an emergency hospital in the fall of 1945. Red Cross personnel from Podgraven were initially deployed to nursing.

The officials also left our villages to establish the municipal administration again. The population registry has been recreated. The secretary, who was housed in a café, was provided with typewriters and the necessary inventory. Schools were also provided with chairs and educational materials. Finally, in July and August, another 125 cats were sent to Bommelerwaard to help combat the pesky mice. For example, Ammerzoden, Well and Nederhemert were assisted in the reconstruction.

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