In several places in the city, the fighting between the Canadians, English and Germans was still in full swing. Nevertheless, Deventer was recaptured piece by piece that day. This is also the case on the Brinkgreverweg. Led by the Universal Carrier, an armored tracked vehicle, the Canadians entered the city.
The two kids were inseparable. They lived close to each other and grew up together. Not long after the liberation, Johan Maatman died tragically at the age of 8.
Dick Paantjens: “We were playing on the ice of the kolk on the Deltalaan. Johan fell into a hole and I was on my own. I tried to get help, so ran to his father’s bakery. By then we came back, it was already too late. ” There is a dead silence. Paantjens continues: “It still hurts after all these years. Couldn’t I have done more? It still gnaws at me.”
I tried to get help, so I ran to his father’s bakery. By the time we got back it was too late.
Dick Paantjens grew up in the violence of war. The Deventenaar lived in various places in the city and even had to hide from the Germans in Bathmen. “I used to play with a Jewish boy in the Rijnstraat. He lived diagonally across from us. One evening he and his parents were picked up by the Germans. The mother of the family had little faith in a return and told my mother that she had everything. from their house. The next morning the house had already been ransacked by the Germans. “
Now, 76 years later, Dick Paantjens is lonely on the Brinkgreverweg. A photo as a reminder of a special period. “It was fairly quiet on the Brinkgreverweg. There was no great revelry, as there was still fighting in several places in the city.”
The Allies had the greatest difficulty in capturing the defenses around the city. Prior to the liberation photo, the Canadians came face to face with fanatical Germans on the outskirts of the city. The Canadians had support from English heavy tanks and several flame throwers (Crocodiles), which were used against the Germans.
The Canadians were imperturbable and dumped the deceased Germans in their own anti-tank ditch, near the current Avia on Henri Dunantlaan. According to several stories, the remains of the Germans are still under the busy road.
Inquiries with Captain Geert Jonker of the Salvage and Identification Service show that the stories surrounding these rumors cannot be confirmed. “Unfortunately, I cannot confirm the story. If there is any truth in it, it is also impossible to establish whether the German soldiers who allegedly died on the Henri Dunantlaan are still there, or were transferred to it at the time. Steenbrugge. “
The Canadians had full control of Deventer within one day. “We had more trouble getting through the partying civilians than we had trouble with the enemy,” said a Canadian captain. A tumultuous period came to an end for Dick Paantjens. “There are so many special stories to tell about the war. These stories should never be lost.”