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Old 01-02-14, 17:27
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Default Then and Now pictures: IJMUIDEN Holland

I had a few days off work last week (after some very busy times) and decided to take some than and now pictures close to home.

Even though the area where we live hasn't seen any big ground battles, the area was the scene of a lot of activity in the air. Being close to Schiphol airport and IJmuiden docks and steel factory means these locations were targeted by bombers regularly.



Below is a picture taken in May 1945, with the locals awaiting the Canadian Liberators. Location is "Rijksweg", Santpoort, just outside Haarlem.

(the period picture was scanned from a book, but it's Original source is the Velsen city archives)
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Old 01-02-14, 17:48
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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IJmuiden is, and was, famous for it's steel factory "Hoogovens", later Corus, now Tata Steel) and dock facilities. Basically it's the entrance to Amsterdam, through the "Noordzee kanaal". IJmuiden was heavily fortified with Hundreds of Bunkers, radar, but also two large "Schnellboot" bunkers.....basically huge shelters for Schnellboote (One still exists today).

In early 1945 a unit of Seehund Midget subs was stationed in IJmuiden. In the beginning they operated in packs, but soon they moved to individual attacks on Allied ships. From what I have heard they were also used to bring supplies to encircled German forces in Belgium and Northern France.

In May 1945 IJmuiden was liberated and the fortifications and captured midget subs attracted attention of several Allied commanders (even Chinese!). I Always wondered where the pic below, with General Foulkes was taken, but finding the location was actually pretty easy....location: "Steigerweg" IJmuiden.
The smoke stack in the background was later taken down, but it used to be part of the power plant, a building which is used by the local Theater today.

Alex

All period pics are from the Canadian Archives, although I had to scan some from books as I couldn't find them online.
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Old 01-02-14, 18:04
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Default After the Battle Press

Hi Alex

Interesting pictures, this would be an interesting way of teaching history to make it more relevant to young people, using historical pictures then modern photos from the same perspective.

Years ago (1997) a friend brought back from the UK a copy of After the Battle Press D-Day Then and Now Volume-2 which is a wonderful collection of then and now photos. At the time I search for Volume-1 here in the States for a copy with no luck. Even tried to order it thorough US distributor without luck same outfit also handled Vanderveen's Wheels and Track Magazine and they seem to have problems at that time of keeping track of subscription or orders. Well anyway after reading your 1st post this morning I went online and found Volume-1 and ordered it.

The picture of the Subs with the CMP parked beside them would be a good addition to the "In the background" thread.

Cheers Phil
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Old 01-02-14, 19:14
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Thank you so much for those photos, Alex.

There are some discussions going on just now on some other military history forums on the question "Is the interest in the History of WWII declining?".

I gather that some forums have seen a decline in new membership, a loss of older members and fewer posts in the last years.

The general consensus seems to be that the younger generations, more or less 40 years of age and less, have little interest in this period of history and in the
US at least, little teaching of that era in the schools.

Photos like yours can be shown to children or grandchildren, at least in areas like the Netherlands, and you can say, "This really happened and it happened right here". In the case of Americans, at least for areas where battles took place, we are sort of limited to Hawaii but on the other hand photos of battle areas in Europe and Asia where we mostly fought, one could say, "This really happened and your grandfather was right there where the photo was taken".

I am doing a very small similar project for my kids and grandkids. I was born in China in 1940 in the Peking American Hospital and we lived in the Russian Legation Apartment #5. I have photos of the apartment from my Dad's archives and photos of the hospital today from the internet. I am now corresponding with both the hospital and the now Russian Confederation Embassy to see if I can get photos of the hospital in 1940 and the Legation Apartment today.

A sort of micro, very personal, Then and Now for my family.

I hope you can post more such photos here, they have a lot of value to the preservation of the history of the time.

Bill
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Old 01-02-14, 20:22
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Originally Posted by Bill Murray View Post
...

The general consensus seems to be that the younger generations, more or less 40 years of age and less, have little interest in this period of history and in the US at least, little teaching of that era in the schools.

...

I hope you can post more such photos here, they have a lot of value to the preservation of the history of the time.

Bill
I agree, but where does history stop? A few years ago I spoke at a high school leaders' conference. The topic was peacekeeping, which I expanded to talk about the continuum from peace to war. I had a series of slides and thought things were pretty clear. One kid asked what was the war in Bosnia about. I had to take a breath and remind myself these kids were little children when it was hot. My response was to call it blind nationalism. He was satisfied and no one made me sit down.
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Old 01-02-14, 23:48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex van de Wetering View Post
I had a few days off work last week (after some very busy times) and decided to take some than and now pictures close to home.

Even though the area where we live hasn't seen any big ground battles, the area was the scene of a lot of activity in the air. Being close to Schiphol airport and IJmuiden docks and steel factory means these locations were targeted by bombers regularly.



Below is a picture taken in May 1945, with the locals awaiting the Canadian Liberators. Location is "Rijksweg", Santpoort, just outside Haarlem.

(the period picture was scanned from a book, but it's Original source is the Velsen city archives)
Hi Alex

Thank you for posting this new thread. I don't think history should ever be forgotten and as previously stated people over 40 don't appear to know much about WW2. The younger generation appear to know nothing of the Korean and Vietnam war either and those conflicts were not so long ago.

The Now and Then Photos are all part of our past and present and show how we have all progressed after bad times. The IJmuiden docks and are not that far from the village of Hillegom where I was born during the WW2 and not far from the dunes in Zandvoort where the German Forces had all their fortified coastal bunkers. Some VI rockets were also fired from the dunes. It is difficult for British, Canadian or Americans people to know what it was like to live under occupation by a foreign power and the hardships suffered by the civilian population.

After the war a book was written about our village under 5 years of occupation up to the time we were liberated by the Canadian Forces. Being a small child at the end of the war do not remember very much, but I remember much more post war damage caused right up to when my family immigrated to Australia. Returning back to Holland for the first time in 1975 I noted that nothing appeared familiar due to the growth and building in the area.

So Alex Thank you for the Thread. We should never forget our past and look at the future with hope. You will note in the attached Photo "2" in the centre of the photo a young woman in a nurse outfit carrying a child with a hat. Well that is me...

Cheers

Tony
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Old 02-02-14, 00:18
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Phil, Bill, Terry, Tony,

Thanks for your kind comments. I have Always been very driven to find the exact location of period pictures and taking the then and now shots, obviously inspired by After the Battle magazine. For me it brings history so much closer, which is basically what Phil wrote....these sort of pictures could make educating people so much more interesting.

Tony....you were born in Hillegom? You do know that's where Hanno lives? And right around the corner from where I live (Hoofddorp). Fascinating. You must remember the brick factory(?). Indeed V1's were launched from Vogelenzang, close to Hillegom. Would you believe that they actually found a V1 in a field today!?....in the Eastern part of Holland though.

I will try to add some more then and now shots soon.

Alex
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Old 02-02-14, 01:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex van de Wetering View Post
Phil, Bill, Terry, Tony,


Tony....you were born in Hillegom? You do know that's where Hanno lives? And right around the corner from where I live (Hoofddorp). Fascinating. You must remember the brick factory(?). Indeed V1's were launched from Vogelenzang, close to Hillegom. Would you believe that they actually found a V1 in a field today!?....in the Eastern part of Holland though.

I will try to add some more then and now shots soon.

Alex
Hi Alex

Yes mate I was born in Hillegom, in my grandmothers house, Meerdorpstraat 13. The house and those surrounding my grandmothers house were all knocked down some years ago, but I guess that's progress. It is a small world, my other grandfather on my fathers side worked at the Hoogovens Steel Factory.

I know where Hooftdorp is and have driven there many times on visits to visit family in Holland. I only have an aunt left now, the one holding me in the photo. interesting that Hanno lives in Hillegom, it sure is a small world. I don't recall the brick factory, I was 7 years old when we immigrated.

Keep the thread going Alex, we learn so much from our past which has been a passion of mine for years. I have a cousin in Spaarndam who does a lot of research for me.

Cheers

Tony
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  #9  
Old 02-02-14, 09:08
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Excellent research plus pictures, Alex!

Must do the same in my backyard, and make some then & now pictures of where Tony was born.

H.
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Old 02-02-14, 17:35
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Quote:
it sure is a small world
It sure is, Tony! The brick factory is just outside Hillegom on the road to Lisse. It's still in business today.

Quote:
Excellent research plus pictures, Alex
Thanks Hanno....and thanks for correcting the title


Here are three more then and now shots. I took the "today" pictures 45 minutes ago. Location is about 100 meters from my house! Marktplein/Kruisweg Hoofddorp

Period pictures were taken 7 may 1945. source: www.beeldbank.noord-hollandsarchief.nl

Alex
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Old 02-02-14, 20:33
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Thanks Alex for the excellent thread. Then and now photos always amazed me. Thanks in particular for the photo with the C15TA. As Tony says we non Europeans can't really grasp what the war did. I think if more Canadian young people could visit some of these places they would have a better appreciation of history. As a young child in Canada the war touched us in small ways but it did not have the impact that it must of had on European youth. My uncle died in the war, another was an alcoholic because of the war, another uncle got shot in the stomach and had spinal injuries and consequently wore a leg brace, again because of the war. Anyway you get the picture. Children today only see things on TV which to them is the same as a video game or a movie. I know the effect that seeing some of the remnants of the conflict had on me. Seeing tank traps still in a field in Noord Holland and gun bunkers and submarine pens in Ijmuiden is kind of sobering. Brian took this photo of Albert, Dirk and I on the farm where Dirk stores his beach equipment in Camperdun.
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Old 02-02-14, 23:08
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A few years ago I was driven around East Sussex by a knowledgeable local pointing out some of London's defences in the form of dragons teeth and pill boxes. It was an impressive and in some ways chilling experience to see these remnants of a time when the outcome was very much in doubt.
If not for the RAF and the Royal Navy these defences would have been put to the test. Today they are easily missed unless you know where to look. It would be brilliant to have them all recorded, particularly with photos. Especially then and now.

David
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Old 24-02-14, 23:09
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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I am glad everyone enjoys these then and now shots. Barry, I will see if I can take some more "C15TA" then and now shots.

Attached are some more then and now shots I took a few years ago. All four taken in Holten in the Eastern part of Holland.

Alex
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Old 25-02-14, 16:57
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Default Then and now

It is indeed a great series of pictures Alex and thank-you for posting them.

I was touched by memories and events of the war even if i lived in Canada and was born in 1960.

I have an uncle in New-Brunswick ( my mother's brother ) who served in the North Shore Regiment during the war. I only realized what he had been trough during the war once he had died.

In my mother's village , Baker Brook New Brunswick while i was about 12 , i met a gentleman named Morneau who was missing a hand.He was the caretaker of the skating rink. I was visiting my grandmother and really did'nt know he was a veteran so I asked him what had happened with his hand.

He directly and nicely answered that he had his hand blown off by a German booby trap set up in a child's toy while picking it up in Holland during the war.He thanked me for asking and we became friends . He told me his story of going through France, Belgium and finally how it all came to an end in Holland.

People in Canada were touched by the war but even more when the guys came home .

Thanks for remembering their sacrifices Alex .

Robert
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Old 11-03-14, 23:16
Alex van de Wetering Alex van de Wetering is offline
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Robert,

I couldn't agree more. Hearing the stories of veterans or reading eye-witness accounts really shows the sacrifices made by these men.



Two then and now pictures taken in Rijssen, very close to Holten, also in the eastern part of Holland.

The third picture was taken in Delden. The picture of the two(!) Defrocked Priests is a personal favorite of mine. Did anyone ever see a better quality print of this picture? ( I presume it's Canadian archives , but I am not sure...)

Alex
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Old 29-12-16, 23:50
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I was in my old hometown Haarlem a few weeks ago....and had to wait a bit....so took some more "now" pictures at the edge of the city centre.

There is a bunch of good Liberation (vehicle related) pictures in the Kennemerland Archives; attached you will find three of them. All three were taken near the "Houtplein" area. The large building was the old "Sportfondsen" swimming pool where we used to swim with school. It was broken down somewhere in the early 90's, I think.


Alex
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Old 30-12-16, 02:02
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Very good .

Keep them coming Alex.

If you ever see this tank in one of your streets in the archives , please post it.

It has a special place in my heart.

Happy New Year and all the best to you and your family.
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Old 11-02-18, 21:51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex van de Wetering View Post
Below is a picture taken in May 1945, with the locals awaiting the Canadian Liberators. Location is "Rijksweg", Santpoort, just outside Haarlem.
Alex,

Here is another picture taken at Santpoort-Noord. We need to make a Then & Now picture soon!

Click image for larger version

Name:	4.2.1.10510.jpg
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"First Canadian soldiers entering Santpoort-Noord on 8 May 1945"

Source: http://data.collectienederland.nl/ - there are more pics to be found there, make sure to check.
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Old 17-06-18, 15:13
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This is a fascinating thread to me, especially since I just returned from a trip in Europe walking in my relatives shoes that served in both ww1 and ww2. I found the Dutch people very friendly, and bumped into a local near the Arnhem bridge one day; I explained that my great uncle was an aide to General Foulkes and went through both Italy and Holland with him. His name is Jan Prins and he kindly offered to spend a day with me later in my trip and show me some less know ww2 sites that still exist around Arnhem. He provided lunch and gave me a great tour!
I found a map of Holland in my great uncles papers after he died that showed where 1 corps had gone through Holland with dates so I made a point of following the same route; which is why I was in Arnhem.
The best part by far for me was the hotel de Hewald in Wageningen, the famous capitulation room. My great uncle talked about being in the room on May 5th when Blaskowitz surrendered to Foulkes on his death bed, and it was eerie to go into the bar and stand exactly where he was on May 5, 1945. The staff at the hotel were great when they found out why I was there and our lunch was discounted and our drinks were free; it was awesome to have a beer at the bar and toast uncle Mac!
Anyway, a recent experience I had over there and I found the locals very friendly and knowledgeable about the Canadians that liberated them.
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Old 18-06-18, 15:20
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Originally Posted by Todd Puzey View Post
This is a fascinating thread to me, especially since I just returned from a trip in Europe walking in my relatives shoes that served in both ww1 and ww2. I found the Dutch people very friendly, and bumped into a local near the Arnhem bridge one day; I explained that my great uncle was an aide to General Foulkes and went through both Italy and Holland with him. His name is Jan Prins and he kindly offered to spend a day with me later in my trip and show me some less know ww2 sites that still exist around Arnhem. He provided lunch and gave me a great tour!
I found a map of Holland in my great uncles papers after he died that showed where 1 corps had gone through Holland with dates so I made a point of following the same route; which is why I was in Arnhem.
The best part by far for me was the hotel de Hewald in Wageningen, the famous capitulation room. My great uncle talked about being in the room on May 5th when Blaskowitz surrendered to Foulkes on his death bed, and it was eerie to go into the bar and stand exactly where he was on May 5, 1945. The staff at the hotel were great when they found out why I was there and our lunch was discounted and our drinks were free; it was awesome to have a beer at the bar and toast uncle Mac!
Anyway, a recent experience I had over there and I found the locals very friendly and knowledgeable about the Canadians that liberated them.
Sounds like you had a great trip, Todd!

I know the feeling of walking in one's relatives shoes, and it is fantastic if local people can add to the sensation.

Hanno
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Old 18-06-18, 16:49
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Hanno; yes it was a great trip and again your countrymen were extremely friendly. The only disappointing thing I had in that area was I came across a Canadian 1 corps metal roadside sign that came from near the bridge in a private collection; it was amazing to think that for sure my great uncle had driven by this sign. I tried to purchase it to add to put with his unform, helmet medals and paperwork I have but the owner would just not part with it.
Really amazing part of history in that area.
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