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The Liberation Museum Zeeland takes us back to a special part of Zeelands history. During the Second World War Allied soldiers, sailors and airmen of various nationalities united in the fight against the German occupation forces. This struggle resulted in a lot of dead and wounded on both sides. The local population in Zeeland also suffered heavy casualties.
The museum offers a tour along important events during the Second World War. The exhibition starts in the Reception area, where Kees Sinke says goodbye to his mother. Kees Sinke was called up in 1939 during the mobilization. The story of Kees Sinke serves as the guideline that leads us through the exhibition.
At different points in the museum connections are made with the present and each time the focus is on people. In this way the museum pays tribute to all the forces who fought for the peace and freedom in which we live today.
The battle of the Scheldt occupies a prominent place in the exhibition. During this so often forgotten battle at the end of 1944, the area around the Western Scheldt provided the scene of action, aiming at clearing the waterway into Antwerp, that had already been liberated. Because the airborne landings known as Operation Market Garden near Arnhem and Nijmegen had failed, the opening up of the harbour in Antwerp was of vital importance for the shipping in of troops and essential supplies for rapid transportation to the front. Thus the battle of the Scheldt played a key role in the liberation of the Netherlands and the ending of the Second World War.
The museum also pays attention to the Zeeland Battalion. This Battalion was mainly formed by volunteers who, after the liberation of Zeeland, wanted to support the forces still endeavouring to free the Netherlands and Western Europe from the yoke of the occupational forces.
Discover in Zeeland a land of shores and islands endowed with a unique history. Due to its strategic position on trading and migratory routes, Zeeland has always been of prime importance. In WWII the region was devastated during the Battle
During the battle for the Scheldt the island of Walcheren was bombed heavily by the Allied air force. The aim of these bombing raids was to destroy the dikes surrounding Walcheren, in order to flood the terrain and hamper the German defensive efforts. For the civilians, like Kees Pouwelse, the experiences were traumatic.
In August 1944 the Allies broke out of Normandy. The speed of the allied advance was so great that they outran their supply lines. In early September the advance came to a halt. The Allies desperately needed a large port to supply their troops and the obvious choice was Antwerp.
Rosie the Riveter is the symbol for all the women that worked in the war industry during the Second World War. As the men went to the front, hundreds of thousands of women took their places in the factories and with their tireless efforts contributed greatly to the Allied victory.
In May 1940 the Netherlands was occupied by German forces. It would take five years before they could be ousted. The final drive to liberate the whole country was launched in February 1945 after the so-called ‘Hunger Winter’ had led to 20.000 fatalities in the still occupied territory.
Every corner of the Netherlands hides treasures from the past. During WWII, after four years of occupation, the Allied troops entered the city of Maastricht in September 1944. After Operation Market Garden, the terrible Battle of the Scheldt followed. In