Forgotten heroes


This rusty sculpture in Harderwijk is dedicated to a dramatic episode in Dutch history. The town used to be a harbor at the Zuiderzee, the large bay that connected Amsterdam to the North Sea. During World War Two, when the country was occupied by the Germans, hundreds of British and American airplanes were shut down while passing over the Zuiderzee. In the 1950s and 60s a part of the former bay was dried up to create the Flevopolder, the largest artificial island in the world. As the new island was slowly taking shape, the workers came upon many airplane wrecks, sad reminders of a still recent war. In some cases the pilots had survived and were helped by the local population to escape to England. In other cases however, they had died during the crash, and their bodies were found together with the plane. The monument is dedicated to these forgotten heroes, whose sacrifice contributed indirectly to the liberation of the Netherlands.


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