The bombings - Chrisje Martens


“I can’t remember the date that our house in the Primulastraat was hit by bombs. Our house was hit at the back. We have to live with the damage for more than a year. There were no building materials available to repair it. I wasn’t home during the bombing. I was with other children collecting beech nuts at the Keunen’s Villa in Aalsterweg. That area was also hit by shrapnel bombs. I got a shrapnel in my leg. My father took me to the hospital which had been set up in the kindergarten in Seringenstraat. The St. Joseph Hospital had been taken over by the military. I got the shock of my life. The corridor floor was lined with dead people. Badly injured people lay on stretchers. We had to wait four hours, I was not badly injured. My father went home where he was badly needed. A neighbour came and she waited with me. I only cried because of horror that surrounded me. It’s an experience I shall never forget.

I often think about the war and the aeroplanes that flew overhead at night. I can remember the monotone drone of the bombers very well. It always woke me up. I also remember the sound of the V1 flying bombs, and the fear you had when the sound of the engine stopped. That meant they were coming down.” - Chrisje Martens

The bombings

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