Rotterdam, The Netherlands – The names of all 805 victims who died when the Germans bombed the city on and around 14 May 1940 can be seen in Rotterdam on Saturday and Sunday.
The names are projected onto the facade of the new OurDomain residential tower on Blaak.
From 19 days till 91 years
The Rotterdam City Archives found out the names of all the people who died in the bombing. The youngest was 19-day-old Clasina Wilhelmina van Druten and the oldest was Francina Bouman, aged 91. The archive recently published a list containing almost a hundred names of victims who had not been known before.
Together with Tangram architecture and urban landscape and Stichting Voorouder, the Rotterdam City Archives set up the project, which will be opened on Saturday evening by Deputy Mayor Vincent Karremans, to project the names onto the flat with lasers.
In addition, the names were also read in the Laurenskerk on Saturday between 09:00 and 12:00. At 1 pm the annual 14 May commemoration will take place at the monument De Verwoeste Stad (The Destroyed City) on Plein 1940, where Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb will lay a wreath.
German bombing of Rotterdam
The German bombing on May 14 of Rotterdam devastated the city in 15 minutes. 805 people died, countless were wounded and 80.000 people lost their home. The city burns, also due to the strong wind. Firemen are helpless, material is lost and water is out of reach. Fleeing is the only option. In the evening the wind gets stronger and also neighbourhoods who weren’t bombed, fall to the flames.
Over 250 hectares were destroyed. Rotterdam is soon called ‘The Rubble’ because it seems that’s all that’s left.