The liberation of Holland in May 1945 is almost 70 years ago. At the end of the Second World War, The Hague was badly damaged, and thousands of citizens, men, women and children died due to bombardments, hunger or persecution by the Nazi’s. Especially the last 'Hungerwinter year'* took a heavy toll. In addition, The Hague had been particularly affected by the building of the German line of defense, the so-called Atlantikwall. The construction of bunkers and tank ditches brought an enormous amount of damage to the city that was partly demolished. Many of its inhabitants were put to the test when they were forced to leave their homes, 135.000 of them were relocated. During the German occupation, a very large number of men were forced to work in the Netherlands and Germany. Frequently young able Dutch men, coerced into forced labor, were deployed by the German Arbeitseinsatz at the construction site of the Atlantikwall.
At the new exhibition in the Museon the visitor becomes acquainted with the history of the construction of the Atlantikwall in The Hague. The exhibition also links the importance of current issues in the area of freedom, democracy and the rule of law to its narrative by amply illuminating the new position of The Hague as the international city of Justice, Peace and Security.
*The western part of Holland was still occupied by the German army in the harsh cold winter of 1944/45
Museon, 9 April till 1 November 2015
Stadhouderslaan 37, 2517 HV The Hague