A visit to the National Liberation Museum 1944 - 1945 is well worth the time.
We stopped here as part of our three day tour of Operation Market Garden.
The museum was pretty quiet when we arrived and we were given a short introductory explanation, in English, by one of the tour guides as to what the museum represents.
It was very interesting to see, as you walked through the exhibits, the changes that the Dutch people had to go through in the years of German occupation in WWII. There was one section which dealt with the issues arising from being part of the resistance and on how you would react yourself if put under the same pressures as were part of every day life during those times. There are no easy answers to the questions that were asked about what the differences were between collaboration and having to make the best of what seemed a permanent situation of occupation.
There was a spectacular exhibit showing a bird’s-eye overview of Operation market Garden, although at the time there was only a Dutch commentary. There is also a twenty minute film, which can be shown in English, of the history of the time.
Also there is a Honorary Dome with a Roll of Honour, containing the names of the Allied soldiers who died between D-Day 6 June 1944 and 8 May 1945
Interior of the church. Notice the paneled ceiling. It does look very Byzantine, doesn't it? Made us wonder why and when this church was constructed after the Byzantine fashion. Well, we know for sure it wasn't erected during the Byzantine Era ;-)
We came here to attend a concert by the choir 'Poco Piu', that's Italian for A Little More. What struck me most were not the vocal qualities of the choir, but a fact I learned from their booklet: that all their sopranos had last names or family names ending with letters A to K (Arink to Kusters), names that are confined to the first part of the alphabet. Hey, I'm a librarian, remember? After pondering on that bewildering fact for a while, I came to the conclusion that they probably had a surplus of sopranos, but needed only a limited number for this concert. They decided that selecting them in alphabetical order would be a fair solution to the problem. So maybe next time we'll be able to listen to the choir with an alltogether different 'set' of sopranos!
Church of the Divine Heart of Jesus. Their Stations of the Cross are reproductions. The original works of art, which we recognized as work done by Dutch artist Jan Toorop, are at St Bernulphus' Church in Oosterbeek near Arnhem. I borrowed this picture from a website as there wasn't enough light in the church in Groesbeek to make good pictures ...
There are two Monuments/Memorials in this picture ,up front in the cemetery,and the other tall one with the cross is in the rear of the cementery. Both are very impressive
This whole cemetery is very well kept ,and the grass and gardens are beautiful.
Just wonderful almost 60 years after WW2.
Commonwealth war casualties are commemorated here , there are 20 unidentified soldiers here.
Also 8 foreign Nationals are commemorated here. In this Cemetery stands the Groesbeek Memorial ,which commemorates those who died in the final stages of the war,and who have no known grave. I think it is this memorial shown in this picture ,but I am not 100% sure of that.
The majority of men buried in this cemetery
were Canadians ,and many of them lost their lives in the Battle of the Rhineland,when the 2nd and 3rd Canadian Infantry
Divisions,and the 4th Canadian Armoured Division took part in the drive
southwards from Nijmegen to clear the territory between the '' Maas and the '' Rhine ''.
The operation was called Operation Veritable.About 5300 soldiers were casualties from February 8 untill March 10.
It's not often mentioned in the records, but for the Northern Dutch, the Canadian forces are the most important within the allied army. They eventually liberated our country and thankful for that we are. To those who paid the highest price for our liberation, in Groesbeek there is a commemorative cemetry. The sight is chilling, so many stones, so many names on the walls that state the ones that have never been identified. A place of great importance, which might be seen in the way it is kept very very proper and clean.
The Netherlands were the country that was more or less left besides the march on Berlin. Especially after Montgomery's plan Market Garden became a huge tragedy at the battle of Arnhem, the crazyness who would be first in Berlin started. Only the South of The Netherlands was liberated in oktober 1944, while the North (over the rivers) went into the fierce hunger-winter of 44-45 (which resulted in more casualties then the four years of occupation and war before!). Eventually the Canadians got the marching orders towards Amsterdam and were the ones that liberated the Northern provinces. The Nazi's surrenders on the 5th of May 1945, only three days before the general surrender of the Nazi's in Europe. In the Liberation Museum in Groesbeek one can see everything of the liberation of The Netherlands.
My name is Michel Janssen out Nijmegen. I have live from 1963 to 1993 in the beautiful village Groesbeek. This village is a beautiful tourist village where you can to vacation.
St Mary's Chapel at the Church of the Divine Heart of Jesus, Groesbeek - De Horst. January 15, 2006.
Interior of the Church of Groesbeek - De Horst, Church of the Divine Heart of Jesus. Choir with wall painting of the Last Supper that looks almost Byzantine.
The organ of the church. We didn't have a close look, but Jennie thought that most of the pipes were probably fake ones anyway. Adding fake organ pipes is a common practice, by the way.
When you come to this Cemetery please
sign the Visitor's book ,so that your visit will be registered, very simple just write your name in the book and where you are from.
As you can see in the picture there is a register book in the wall of the building at the Groesbeek Cemetery .
It is well visible and very nice looking inside the wall.
Another picture of the Gravestones of these fallen soldiers
This cemetery was build and is maintained by the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission. Architect Philip Hepworth.