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World War II in Gaasterland

(58.3 km)

A lot took place in Gaasterland during the Second World War. From the end of 1941, the Germans worked feverishly on a radar station near the village of Sondel. This radar station was included in the German air defense which consisted of floodlights and anti-aircraft guns.


In the autumn of 1944, more than 75 V2 rockets were launched from the Rijsterbos towards England and the Belgian city of Antwerp. Several launches failed, destroying the peace stamp in the forest. In 1945 the temple was restored with the old material.

In addition to the story of camp Sondel and the V2s in the Rijsterbos, many human dramas have taken place; various plane crashes, the reception of people in hiding and evacuees, resistance work and executions. During this 'World War II in Gaasterland' cycling route you will visit unique locations and read stories about this turbulent period.


Have fun cycling!

Sights on this route

Starting point: De Brink 1
8567 JD Oudemirdum
1

Bezoekerscentrum Mar en Klif

Bezoekerscentrum Mar en Klif

In the visitor centre, you will discover many aspects of National Landscape Southwest Fryslân

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2

Execution monument in the forest Elfbergen

Execution monument in the forest Elfbergen

On Friday 23 February 1945, Jacob Wilbers was arrested during a raid in Woudsend, a day later Johannes Wissink in Gaastmeer. Both had been arrested by the Germans as Dutch resistance fighters. They were executed a few days later.

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3

Farmer’s school (NSB Agricultural School)

Farmer’s school (NSB Agricultural School)

The beautiful house 'Mooi Gaasterland' was built in 1912 for the Maatschappij Gaasterland. During the war, the complex was used by the Landstand, a National Socialist Movement organization in which all farmers' organizations were housed.

4

V2 rocket launch site and Peace Temple (Impact location)

V2 rocket launch site and Peace Temple (Impact location)

Gaasterland became the launch site of the German V-2 rocket in the last months of 1944. The rockets were fired from the Rijsterbos at southern England and Antwerp.

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Memorial sign at Mirns cemetery for the 1943 plane crash with B-24 Liberator

Memorial sign at Mirns cemetery for the 1943 plane crash with B-24 Liberator

Due to the presence of the German radar post at Sondel, a large number of Allied aircraft were shot down over Gaasterland, near Tacozijl, Oudemirdum, Warns, Scharl and Bakhuizen. A plane also crashed near Mirns.

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6

Plot Mientwei 8, “Hâld Moed”

Plot Mientwei 8, “Hâld Moed”

After the German invasion in 1940, Yde Bouke Yntema had 'Hâld courage' (Keep courage) painted on the entrance gate to his farm. During the occupation, this farm served as a storage place for the resistance.

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7

Kamp Wyldemerk

Kamp Wyldemerk

The Wyldemerk camp is known as a Moluccan settlement and was set up for this purpose in 1952. The large stone on the site is a reminder of this time. The camp had already been built in World War II.

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8

Balk Plaque on the outer wall of the Town Hall

Balk Plaque on the outer wall of the Town Hall

This memorial plaque was donated to the municipality on May 4, 1953 by members of the former illegality. This contains the names of the five fallen from the municipality of Gaasterland.

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9

Memorial Torch Graveyard in memory of Jeen Hornstra

Memorial Torch Graveyard in memory of Jeen Hornstra

By two Dutch officers in hiding, some of the dropped weapons for the resistance were taken to the Marechaussee barracks in Sloten in a wagon covered with straw. Along the way, the KP (Resistance Team) soon ran into problems…

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10

Radar station Sondel

Radar station Sondel

In the early 1940s, German air defense consisted of a belt of floodlights and anti-aircraft guns. To intercept the Allied bombers, a covering system of radar stations from Norway to the south of France was constructed. A radar station was also built.

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11

Monument IJsselmeerdijk

Monument IJsselmeerdijk

On April 6, 1945, five members of the Dutch Internal Forces and the Knokploeg Sneek/IJlst were executed and buried here behind the IJsselmeer dyke. The victims were Gerrit Vlietstra, Durk Dijkstra, Herre Winia, Jurjen Hoomans, Hendrik Huizinga.

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12

The crash of the Wellington Mk 1C

The crash of the Wellington Mk 1C

On the night of 8-9 May 1941, the Wellington Mk 1C aircraft of the No. 305 Squadron took off with nine crew members from Syerston Airport near Nottingham, for an attack on the German city of Bremen.

End point: De Brink 1
8567 JD Oudemirdum
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  • 85
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