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Collateral Damage 1944

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25 pdr


Both Sven Dijkgraaf and Arie Peters were born in 1908. Their legacies - no surprise - show striking similarities. Not only did both obtain a paid job in 1936, they also experienced the consequences of WW II, like the damage caused by the bombings of the Allied Forces. The bombings,  that were advancing from west to east during the Allied final offensive, destroyed the city of Nijmegen on February 22, 1944. Dr. S.J. de Groot drew the attention of Stichting De Traditie to the fact that Sven Dijkgraaf saw his manuscript on echolocation in bats burnt after submission. The Zeitschrift für vergleichende Physiology, in which his manuscript should be published, was suspended from June 1944 till August 1948. Also, Engelbert Johan Walhof, brother-in-law of Arie Peters and as a forced labourer residing in a camp in Germany, wrote that his package with food had arrived safely, but was 'cremated' immediately after reception on August 13, 1944. An added bonus was that his journey home could begin.

  • Image left: shell of a 25 pdr, left behind in Nijmegen, and used as an ashtray by Arie Peters for many years after the end of hostilities.

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