Monday Nov 15. What a difference a day makes..

Written by Jack van Ommen on November 15th, 2010

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Jan wanted to attend Sunday services in Putten a rural town on our way to Friesland. My brother is involved in the activities of the museum of the Nazi concentration camp of Neuengamme, which is near his home in Germany. This is also the camp where the leader of our mother’s resistance group perished. At the time that the battle of Arnhem (“A bridge too Far”) was fought, nearby Putten, in October 1944 a small group of partisans from Putten attacked a German army vehicle. All the men of the village between 18 and 50 were rounded up, in reprisal, and over 600 of them were sent to Neuengamme. Except for a handful all perished under the atrocious conditions of the camp. Jan has met, in the last years, the annual delegation from Putten to commemorate their fallen townsmen at the Neuengamme memorial service. The Reformed Church was packed. All ages. There are still a few pockets left in Holland that remind me of the forties and fifties when the majority of the Dutch trekked to their respective churches.

We looked at a Folkboat on the Keteldiep and a flat bottom Schouw in Stavoren, which were on Jan’s shopping list. On the way we stopped in Urk. The pictures I had made in Urk last July were lost in the (second) lap top crash, I duplicated a few that I intend to incorporate in a Botter story I am writing. My cousin Siebold and his wife Tineke were my hosts in Sneek last night. We had seen each other last June when I came through Sneek on “Fleetwood”. This morning I spent several hours at the Frisian Maritime Museum, which is just around the corner from Siebold’s home. There I also replicated the pictures that I had made here last June and I gathered more material for my Botter story.

My flight arrangements have been made! I expect to land in Washington D.C. this Thursday, the 18th. The Virginians and I are excited to spend the holidays together.

Tomorrow I’ll be visiting the Nieuwboer Botter Yard in Spakenburg to take more pictures and fill in a few gaps in my story.

Holland at its Best. Taken today from a fast moving train


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