Zenderen World War 2 Monument - The Netherlands
Article about: WOII Monument Zenderen - The Netherlands Monument name: Monument aan de Zeilkerweg Monument designer: W. Udema Adress: Zeilkerweg 12, 7625SJ, Zenderen, Overijssel Year of visit: 2013 The war
Zenderen World War 2 Monument - The Netherlands
WOII Monument Zenderen - The Netherlands
Monument name: Monument aan de Zeilkerweg
Monument designer: W. Udema
Adress: Zeilkerweg 12, 7625SJ, Zenderen, Overijssel
Year of visit: 2013
The war monument located in Zenderen was erected in remembrance of the following people:
Sietse Arnold Hilbrink (Dutch resistance fighter)
Coenraad Johan Hilbrink (Dutch resistance fighter)
Dirk Cornelis Ruiter (Dutch resistance fighter
These three resistance fighters died on the 23rd of September 1944 while defending the villa "Huize Lidwina" which was the headquarters of the resistance fighters in Twente. (Twentse Knokploegen) The building was raided and destroyed.
Bote van der Wal (Dutch refugee)
Bote van der Wal refused to sign loyalty papers to the Nazi regime and refused to join the labour programs. Because of this he had been a fugitive from the authorities for over two years. On the night of the 13th of March 1945 he was at his Mothers house as the family had held a small party for his Birthday that day. A local Nazi sympathizer spotted Bote and reported him to the authorities.
The house of the van der Wal family was a used as a safe house and on that day Gerald Hood (described below) was at the house as well. At about 0130 hours the van der Wal house was surrounded by a detachment of the Almelo SD (Sicherheitsdienst) to get Bote. Bote and Gerald were well hidden but surrendered fearing the safety of the Bote's mother. While the SD was only looking for Bote they arrested Gerald as well when they found out he was a British Pilot. Both were brought to the Almelo jail.
On the 23rd of March 1945 Bote van der Wal was executed, two days after Gerald Hood was executed on exactly the same spot, in the woods at the outskirts of Zenderen. Later on that year Bote van der Wal's remains were located and exhumed to be reburied in the Almelo town cemetery
Flying Officer Gerald Hood was the Navigator on board the LM 658, which was a Lancaster Mk III aircraft.
The crew of LM 658, with Gerald as it's Navigator, were sent on a (experimental) mission to bomb the manufacturing and communications hub in Braunschweig on the evening of the 12th of August 1944. This mission included many allied planes. The mission was less successful then planned as reconnaissance reports later reported that an effective concentration of bombing was not achieved. LM 658 was experiencing problems on their way to the target with their radio navigation system and were met with heavy wind, but the crew decided to still go for the target in stead of turning back. They were hit by flak anti aircraft guns but pushed on. After LM 658 released it’s deadly cargo it turned for home but was again hit by flak anti aircraft fire. Due to the high winds and their navigation equipment not working LM 658 and it’s crew found themselves off course. They again were hit by flak fire and this time a burst set the inner starboard fuel tank on fire. The whole plane eventually caught fire and crashed just over the border in occupied Dutch territory on farmland north of Almelo, between the villages of Hardenberg and Bergentheim at approximately 0110 hrs local time, on the morning of the 13th of August 1944. Four of the crew managed to save themselves of which one was Gerald Hood. Gerald was found by the Dutch Resistance and taken to several safe houses to evade being captured.
Gerald was discovered by the Almelo SD (Sicherheitsdienst) by coincidence on the 13th of March 1945 at the safe house from the van der Wal family in Nijverdal. The Almelo SD actually came for Bote van der Wal (mentioned above) but when Bote surrendered for fearing for his mother’s safety Gerald as well surrendered and both were taken to jail by the SD.
Gerald was interrogated by Oberfeldwebel Georg Otto Sandrock. During his interrogation, Geralds’ own account of his movements did much to protect those who had helped him over the last few months, but little to help his own situation. The SD checked local records to verify Geralds’ story but his story did not match with the factual evidence of the plane crash. Gerald thought he would be sent to a POW camp, however this was not the case. On the morning of the 21st of March 1945 at 0900 the order came in that Gerald Hood had been condemned to death. At about 2200 the same evening Gerald was taken in a car to the outskirts of Zenderen and was lead out of the car into the woods. While walking towards the woods Gerald was told that he was sentenced to death. After Gerald was shot he was dragged further into the woods and buried.
Later on that year Gerald's remains were located and exhumed. Gerald Hood was reburied in the Almelo town cemetery under the care of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
Within two weeks after the execution of Bote van der Wal and Gerald Hood Almelo was freed by the British and Canadian forces.
Thank you for posting this interesting piece. A nicely kept and well presented memorial.
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