Lest we forget
Gendringen - Wisch 1940 -1945
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This project is made possible by:
leader EU
European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development: Europe invests in its countryside
Gemeente oude IJsselstreek Gelderland Anbi

The book

"Opdat wij niet vergeten" (Lest we forget)

Early 2020 the first edition of the 456 pages book “Opdat wij niet vergeten, Gendringen-Wisch 1940-1945” (lest we forget, Gendringen-Wisch 1940-1945) has been published.

Lest we forget

The memory of the casualties from World War II has to be kept alive and the history must be passed on, in order to avoid repetition. With these thoughts in mind the editors found one another. A book has been published entitled: “opdat wij niet vergeten” (lest we forget). In this book it mainly is about World War II in the municipality of Oude IJsselstreek and the liberation in March 1945.

To pass it on we developed a curriculum. Films have been made about the nine plane crashes within this municipality. These films have been made available for education by foundation de Moezeköttel. We consulted foundation Kick (www.kick-oude-ijsselstreek.nl). The project Parashoot, set up for 10 and 11 years old, arose (www.kick-oude-ijsselstreek.nl/index.php/parashoot) to involve them in remembering and cherish our freedom. Right now these films are on Youtube too (oorlog boven oude ijsselstreek) with English under titles.
Paul Jansen highly contributed in the project of Parashoot, as the maker of these very informative films.

Under the inspiring leadership of Vincent Weijermars also cycle routes have been made (obtainable at the Moezeköttel, Asbroek 2a in Megchelen) that lead along crash sites. Information tablets give you information also with QR codes.
In the book, QR codes are available too attached to the nine stories in order to show the film with the appropriate chapter.

Parallel to these developments in Gendringen, a lot of information was found about a crash in Heelweg in which one of the crewmen was able to evade. In this search also kin have been found, that came to the Netherlands and have been shown around. On this occasion the Nationaal Onderduikmuseum in Aalten was visited in which the story of the “pilot” briefly was known. The kin donated their husband’s/father’s Distinctives to the museum.
A number of traced kin are allowed to speak in the book. People that have the right to have a place to remember.


The book entitled: “Opdat wij niet vergeten” has 4 chapters.

The first chapter is about the nine plane crashes in the former municipalities of Gendringen and Wisch, that now come together in the municipality of Oude IJsselstreek in the Achterhoek.

Nine types of aircraft (mostly bombers) used by the Allies crashed in this area. This is discussed in detail with eyewitnesses and family, reports and documents from official institutions. Also post war correspondence with family and institutions is also mentioned.

The second chapter is about the Dutch, sent to Germany as forced laborers, workers for the O.T. (Organization Todt 1944-1945), camp Rees and the connection with Gendringen and Wisch. Forced laborers through the eyes of a German boy and also the victims in Arbeitslager Groin.

The third chapter is about Oude IJsselstreek during the war. In this part events, during or just after the war are described, that took place in Gendringen and Wisch, in which inhabitants were involved and had a tremendous impact on the civilisation. Often events that some recall as if it happened yesterday.

The fourth chapter describes those who stayed behind. German soldiers that died during acts of war and initially were buried in a field grave.

Within two weeks the first editions old out. And the second as well at this moment.

In the meantime our translation in English of chapter one is checked by native speakers, which means an English version of this part of the book will probably be available in due time.