Sunday 17 April 2016 we were witness of the occupation and liberation of the village Spijk (Groningen) during the War Years. The event with re-enactment was called Spijk returns to... 1945. Actually the village was liberated by the Canadian army in the last days of April 1945 while they were marching on to Delfzijl. But the Canadians had to fight a fierce battle in the villages around Delfzijl. Hitler had declared Delfzijl as 'Festung' (fortress) because of its strategic position opposite the port of Emden in the north of Germany. When we arrived, there was the German occupation still in progress. We saw that the Allied soldiers had their headquarters in the Reformed Church and the Germans paraded still in the center of the village. The German general enjoyed the limelight for the Ortskommandantur. Two German nurses walked off and a wheelbarrow with provisions and a tray of coffee for the soldiers. We had found a nice spot opposite the Ortskommandantur, because that would be the ultimate objective of the Allied attack. So we could see the great liberation of Spijk and filming. A German soldier got into the water. A bren-carrier drove in shooting from a side street and the German soldiers were under heavy fire in a short time. Wounded over and over again. Eventually the Germans surrendered and Spijk was liberated.. The Dutch flags were out and festive music was sounding. A Sherman tank drove through the village. Finally free!

Watch the photoshoot Spijk returns to... 1945 on Sunday 17 april 2016.