Helpt Putten's Jeugd


21 x 32 in (53 x 81 cm)

ID #LB20X30TABLESa-2847

Title: Help the youth of Putten

Artist: Henk Kabos

On the night of 30 September-1 October 1944, a car carrying two officers and two corporals of the German Army was ambushed by members of the Dutch resistance near the Oldenallerbrug bridge between Putten and Nijkerk. In the attack, a resistance fighter named Frans Slotboom was wounded; he later died. One German officer, Lieutenant Otto Sommer, was also injured, and escaped to a nearby farmhouse to raise the alarm; he died the following day. The two German corporals fled while the second officer, Oberleutnant Eggart, was injured and captured. Due to his wounds, the resistance fighters abandoned him in a place where he could be found by the Germans.

German reprisal[edit]

German reprisal

660 symbolic graves in the Putten memorial garden

The German reprisal raid was conducted the following day. At the command of General Friedrich Christiansen, Putten was surrounded by German forces. The women and men of the village were captured and separated, and over 100 houses in the village were set on fire. Six men and a woman were shot dead during the raid. The women were held at the church until 9 pm, while the men and boys were detained separately nearby at the village school. On 2 October, 661 men between the ages of 18 and 50 were taken to Amersfoort concentration camp, where 59 older or unfit men were released. The remaining 602 men left Amersfoort on 11 October and taken to Neuengamme concentration camp as forced labour. During the transportation, 13 men escaped by jumping off the train. From Neuengamme, some were moved to other camps or sub-camps, including Ladelund, Bergen-Belsen, Meppen-Versen, Beendorf, Wöbbelin and Malchow.

Only 48 men returned after the end of the war, but another 5 died, due to their mistreatment in the camps, after they arrived home. Some people returned crippled, as they had been kept in small cages they could not stand in. As further reprisals, the SS set fire to 105 houses.[1] A total of 552 men and 1 woman died, mostly victims of malnutrition, slave labour, and infectious diseases.

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