World War 2 In A Cave (little Tour)
#1

To all.

 

Perhaps you know that I am working as a guide in the Town Cave in Valkenburg, The Netherlands. The stone you can see is Marl. A very soft stone like limestone. I am guiding people through the cave on foot. (It is not a survival tour ;) ). I am telling / teaching them something about different times including World War 2. I thought that some of you might be interested in the things what happened there and what you can see from World War 2 today.

 

Let's start here:

 

It is early 1944 and the Germans decided to used the caves in South-Limburg to build factories in it. They would like to produce parts of V1 and V2 rockets in it. They builded brick walls tomake the ceiling stronger. That took some time and they couldn't finish the factory. So they only build those walls but didn't produce a thing.

 

sl730033kleiner.jpg

 

sl730034kleiner.jpg

 

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Here you can see a block were people scratched their names in as a memory to others. About 2,500 people came into the cave to take shelter for the heavy fightings which took place in Valkenburg. Not all the names are on this block but as you can imagine it wasn't a pleasure to be there for 10 days. Temperature is always 12 degrees centigrade and the humidity is between 95 and 98 %. Even 4 babies were born in that period.

 

sl730017kleiner.jpg

 

Some American soldiers came into the cave and they scratched their names in the walls too. As you can see here. Also some veterans, who visited the cave after the war, have their names on the wall. Most of them wrote their names between 1947 and 1955. Here are some pictures of them. I will try to find more information about them.

 

sl730019kleiner.jpg

 

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Valkenburg was liberated on September 17th 1944. (Famous date). Here you can see a painting which was made at the end of 1945 to commemorate the liberation of Valkenburg. The people are still very thankful for the sacrifices of all the Allied troops.

To the left you can see the symbol of the 30th Old Hickory division.

 

sl730026kleiner.jpg

 

Underneath the symbol you can see the signature of Frank Towers. He is the chairman of the 30th Old Hickory association. He fought with the 120th Infantry Regiment. He is still alive and I met him during the Memorial Day services in Henri-Chapelle last May. He is 92 years old now.

 

sl730027kleiner.jpg

 

Another painting which shows us the names of the troops who were killed during the liberation of Valkenburg. Although there were heavy fightings "only" 6 Americans were killed. You can also see the signature of Frank Towers on this painting. You can see the symbol of the 120th IR, 117th IR, 30th Infantry Division and the 119th IR.

 

sl730031kleiner.jpg

 

Lot of people used the cave to hide for the Germans. Some people lived in there for months in the pitchdark. They couldn't make a fire because they were afraid to be discovered by other people. There are 5 different lakes so they had the opportunity to drink. Some other people, who worked in the cave, could provide them of food and dry clothes. Because of the humidity they could be soaked after a while.

 

Well that's it. So (typical Dutch):

 

sl730051kleiner.jpg

 

:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

 

If you really want to donate some you can do that on our website. All the money will be used for a monument which we will inaugurate in September.

 

http://www.12-09-1944.nl/index_en.php

 

Regards,

 

Frank

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