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World War II

This page has been built to remind us of the BAD TIMES and the bad memories of the second world war between Germany, Italy, Japan and the Free World


Frans de Gooijer shown here with the information on Naarden where from 1940 the Germans occupied the city of Naarden and all of the Netherlands for some five years until 1945 when the Netherlands was free once again by the Allied Troops.


This page chronicles many historic moments in the lives of the Willem Vandergeld and his family, and includes experiences common to many others in the Netherlands. As you view these photos you will begin to realize that if our family members had not emigrated to other countries around the globe, the history of each family would have been totally different.

My war time experiences began as a tiny five year old boy who was originally born in Bussum and then moved with his parents to the nearby town of Naarden. The photos on this page will serve to show you that my very young years were spent during a very dangerous time in our history. Many of these images recall unforgettable moments that terrified me as a small child and still haunt me some time every day. Perhaps these photos will show today's younger generation what that World War II was really like and what it was all about. Iím thankful that many of you have never experienced war times as I did . . . . . .
At night, it was not uncommon to be hauled out of your bed in the cold winter, to leave your house to find some shelter from bombs that were being dropped by the Allied troops that were trying to free us from the Enemy of our land.

One time, we were trying to get all the people from our town to a safe place, however many of the old people could not walk and had a hard time traveling. So they had to be transported by other means such as wheel barrows or hand carts, to a safer place, away from the danger of the bombs.

There were many terrifying experiences for a small, five-year old boy. Especially the last winters, when there was no food, and everyone was hungry. On one evening, our Mother would cook  potatoes and the following day we would eat the peels from those potatoes. At times, she would cook the weeds that we found in a small field. We would try our best to eat them, but they were not very tasty.

The Dutch underground were constantly trying to defend our little community from the Germans. As in past ages, levies were always opened to let the water from the North Sea flood the low lands to make it harder for the enemy to travel and gain access. Although necessary, this caused great hardship for us and all the other families because many homes would be flooded.

However since they (the Germans) used their airplanes and bombs to intimidate us, we were cornered fast and easy, there really was no place for us to hide or to go.

In a matter of days, we, the Dutch had to give up our fight for freedom, otherwise we would have all been killed.  The Queen, Wilhelmina of our country fled to England, because she feared the possibility of being captured by the Germans.

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The occupation of Holland in 1944


My Dad Willem Vandergeld and Gerard Romeijnders (CENTER) together with others, were German Prisoners in the Town of Kreafeld, Germany, where they were kept in slave labor Camps during World War II


FORT RONDUIT where the Germans had their Army barracks. It was off limits to the Dutch people between 1940 ítil after we were given back our freedom in 1945


These were the îFive Loodsenî. These were barn style buildings, were the Germans stabled the horses, which they had stolen from farms in the surrounding area. The buildings were located on the corner of the Cattenhagestraat and the before named Amsterdamsestraatweg in Naarden the Netherlands. Later in the fifties they were demolished and houses were built in place of them.


The Germans also came with heavy duty motorcycles that many times gave them an advantage if they had to look for any resistance from the freedom fighters.


NAARDEN 1940 - 1945


Razzia: the gathering of citizens throughout Europe to re-locate them for the German Warfare.  Many people never returned and died during that War.


Here is my friend Frans de Gooijer, to celebrate the freedom that was given back to us by the Allies in 1945


Soon after taking the Country of Poland they (the Germans) moved in to Holland with only a little resistance from the brave men that tried to defend our tiny country. There was not enough war material in Holland to fight the overwelming war machine the Germans had at that time.


The Germans moved thru Holland to Belgium, France, Spain. From there they started to move toward Russia.


From the north of Europe the Polish Cavalerie tried to fight the Germans with only a small amount of weapons. As you can see, many soldiers were outfitted with only spears and small guns, and soon Poland, Norway, Denmark except for Sweden, Italy and Switzerland, who collaborated with the Germans, all others fell under the heavy amour of the German Army.


With the help of the Italian Air Force, which joined the Germans, all of Europe soon was in the grip of an Iron Fist which killed any resistance from the people who were trying to get their freedom back.

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They, the Germans, soon moved toward Africa with Rommel, in charge of planning the capture of many Arab countries. Again, the Arabs with their camels, were no match against the force that was presented to them by the Germans.


German Paratroopers (sky-divers) were used to squelch any one that dared to start any resistance.  Many of the Germans started to think that soon the whole world would belong to them.


In February 1941 the Japanese Government decided to fight the United States by bombing Pearl Harbor. The United States declared war in return. With much of the fleet destroyed it took some time to build our fighting power to hit those war mongering countries with the might of our fighting men and women.


German submarines were also launched against the Allied Merchant Marines and Navy. Many boats were sunk by what they called German U-Boats. These were small, fast and very dangerous vessels equipped with torpedoes.

German Destroyers, shown here, were also on the attack against the Allied boats.


Here is the Aircraft Carrier The Lexington which was badly hit; the crew is in the process of abandoning ship. Hundreds of seamen jumped overboard as you can see in this picture. If you look closely, you can see many of them already in the cold freezing waters of the Atlantic Ocean.


The sinking of the GRAFSPEE battleship was the turning point in the Second World War


However after much time, the Allies had enough fire power to match the German might which was stretched VERY thin. Soon the Germans were pulling back to Germany, but many didnít make it as you can see below with a dead German soldier on the side of the road while a Allied Truck passes by.


Watching overhead as bombs are being dropped on the German Troops as they are withdrawing from the towns they once occupied . . . . and the destruction they left behind.

Allied Forces entered the town of Bastogne, Italy in the middle of winter


The German Army were hammered back to their country. They were hit with terrific force from all sides by the Allied Forces. Here the Allied Forces enter a town that minutes before was occupied by Germans Troops for some five years.


Many prisoners were taken and sent to a prisoner camp.


Much of the German War material was destroyed and left behind. The way back was made difficult for the Germans as many bridges were blown up and supply lines were destroyed by the Allied Forces.

This bridge was bombed in the town of Hohenzollern somewhere in Europe.


This photo shows the Allies waiting in the woods to ambush the withdrawing German troops on their way back to Germany.

Here the Allies with their trucks and equipment are crossing the River Rhine in Holland, on their way to Germany.


Many buildings in Europe were totally destroyed as was this Monastery in Cassino, Italy.





Shown below is the devastated town of Cologne, France.


The Allied Soldiers are here seen going on shore at Utah Beach.


All of Europe celebrated as soon as the Allied Forces entered their towns. Shown here, is their entry into Paris France.

The towns were welcoming the troops that pushed the Germans back to their own country.


There were some difficult times, and areas to cross but with the engineering skills the Allies had developed, they made it over the rivers and through the mountains.


The B-17 was the most appreciated fighting machine in the air during the Second World War.


The German Government finally gave up their ambition to conquer the world and signed Articles of Surrender. It was signed by the few German Generals that were left, one from the German Army and one from the German Navy.


Now again the world is at War, with a total different enemy which is again out to conquer the world. It comes in the name of religion.


We will pray to GOD, and hope it is NOT !!


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