May 9, 8:05 p.m.
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The association Noitdorpsche Historie has set a new walk. As part of the annual celebration of World War II, this walk allows you to reflect on a number of historical events from that time. Bert Huijgen laid out and composed this hike. The length is about 9 kilometers and is also suitable for wheelchair users.
We start on Kerkweg, where at number 15 we pass the old mayor’s house. In the first weeks of the occupation, a German group leader was accommodated in the mayor’s residence. We go to Molenweg, where hairdresser Be Roosink had his barber shop at number 8. We go on and see the houses on the right. They were all built after the war. Try to imagine what it must have looked like in 1940. You had an unobstructed view of the (low) greenhouses and meadows up to the buildings of Ypenburg Airport.
We go to Dwarskade. During the war, there were vegetable greenhouses along Dwarskade. Especially in the winter of 1944 to 1945 (the famine winter) one had to be prepared for the robbery of vegetables from the greenhouses and cattle from the meadows. To counter this, ‘bat guards’ were set up. The village was divided into neighborhoods, and two men took turns in each neighborhood, armed with clubs, garden hoses, or similar props.
On May 10, 1940, there were fighting at Dwarskade. At the far left lay shipwright Meijster’s house and barn. A division of German soldiers had entrenched themselves there on May 10, 1940. Part of the Pontonniers had been sent from the direction of Pijnacker to reinforce the defenses of Ypenburg. After a short firefight, they captured the 32 Germans
caught. The Germans captured at Dwarskade had been grounded with two Junkers Ju-52 aircraft in the residential area (then meadows) to the right. Via the meadow to the right we go to Nootdorpse Plassen to finally reach Middelweg.
We now head towards Ypenburg, where a monument to the fallen grenadiers and hunters stands on the great pool of water – at ‘Böttgerwater’. Captain Wilhelm Böttger was killed in the early afternoon of May 10, 1940. The neighborhood around the monument honors many other grenadiers who fell in May 1940 at Ypenburg using street names.
Via Combinatieweg and Kortelandseweg we go to Veenweg. Especially in the days after the capitulation in May 1940, but also in the years that followed, German soldiers were often housed in houses and farms along the Veenweg. Nootdorp was also the victim of a raid a few times. When it became known, all the men hid in the houses along the Veenweg and also under the floor of the Joseph School.
The tower of Bartholomew Church was the tallest building in Nootdorp during the war, from which one could look out over the surrounding area for miles. This was the reason why the German army installed a lookout post around the top of the tower. It was reached by a ladder from a large ramp, which was attached to the top of the walled part of the tower. These lookout posts were still in place in October 1945.
Where Angelina Hair Salon is now, was the merchant Boonekamp during the war, who had an illegal printing business. During the raid on 28 February 1945, the Germans raided him. Fortunately, neither the printing works nor the printing house were found.
We continue until the railway tunnel and go via Princess Alexialaan to Vrouwtjeslant. It is said that somewhere on the meadows where Vrouwtjeslant now lies, a German fighter plane crashed on New Year’s Day 1945. Eyewitness accounts are very different, so what exactly happened will never be clear. Via Meidoornlaan we go to Dorpsstraat. During the war, five officials worked at City Hall. Almost from the beginning of the occupation, there were officials within the small civil service who used their position and opportunities to contribute to illegal activities and to facilitate people in hiding. In Dorpsstraat we also see the memorial to Arcen en Velden and the memorial stone for Lubbert Brouwer. This monument is the focal point of the memorial service for the dead on May 4 each year.
The tower of the village church served as a lookout point for the air defense service during the war. This service was to organize the protection of civilians from the consequences of air strikes. The bell was rung like an air raid siren until it was requisitioned by the Germans. In Nootdorp, several members of the air force were involved in the resistance.
Although several farmers still had food, people also suffered from hunger in Nootdorp in the winter of 1944-1945. The village’s soup kitchen was located in the buildings in De Eendracht, Oudeweg 4. The miller from Windlust mill a little further on asked his customers throughout the war to give ‘a shovel to the miller’. He helped people who needed something extra.
This is roughly the description of an educational walk. The exact route description can be found at www.noitdorpsche-historien.nl under the heading hiking. Have fun walking.