May 22, 2013

0655 NETHERLANDS (Netherlands / Gelderland) - Devils House in Arnhem

Located on both banks of the river Nederrijn (Lower Rhine) as well as on the stream Sint-Jansbeek, Arnhem was first mentioned in 893, received city rights in 1233 and entered the Hanseatic League in 1443. In fact it arose on the location where the road between Nijmegen and Utrecht/Zutphen split, and only when the Rhine's flow was changed in 1530 was located on the river. In the 19th century, it was a genteel resort town famous for its picturesque beauty, being known as The Little Hague of the East. To those passionate about the history of the WWII Arnhem is known due to the Operation Market Garden, about which I wrote a little here and here.

The house that appears in the postcard was owned by Charles II, Duke of Guelders, in 1518, and after his death was sold to Maarten van Rossum, the commander of the Duke. It was rebuilt in 1543 and was given the official name: House of Maarten van Rossum. Van Rossum's heirs sold the property in 1575, and in following centuries the building has changed the owner several times, until 1828, when the municipality bought it and moved here Town Hall two years later. In 1898 the property was restored in Renaissance style. It is known as Duivelshuis (Devils House), because of statues and mascarons which decorate its walls. The statue on the top belongs to Maarten van Rossum.

The basement of the building served as temporary prison for captured British parachutists during Operation Market Garden in September 1944. A German MG team was also positioned here. Horst Weber, Kompanietruppführer (company headquarters section leader) in the 10th SS Panzer Division Frundsberg, who arrived at Arnhem in the afternoon of September 17th, wrote about that: "In the building what we now know as Duivelshuis we found a large number of British wounded. It was a horrifying scene and we could do nothing for them at that time as we had no medical supplies of any kind and there was no water. The only thing I could do was get a few apples from a grocery nearby and give these to them. The British doctor Logan did all he could do but he was exhausted as he did not rest for two days and nights." Today, there are still bullet holes in the building.

About the stamp I can say that is part of Green Progress set, about which I wrote here.

Arnhem - Wikipedia
My Memories of Arnhem 1944 -
24 Duivelshuis - Freedom Trail Arnhem

sender: Yvonne / Swiftnick (postcrossing)
sent from Arnhem (Gelderland / Netherlands), on 16.05.2013
photo: Riet Lieferink 

No comments:

Post a Comment