4 May 2004
AMSTERDAM — Claims that the Ysselsteyn cemetery archive records of 32,000 German soldiers and civilians who died on Dutch soil in World War II have gone missing were dismissed on Tuesday.
The archive — which totals 100,000 pages — was handed over in 1976 by the Dutch military to the German war graves foundation, Volksbund Deutsche Kriegsgräberfürsorge, news agency ANP reported.
And a spokesman for the German foundation, Fritz Kirchmeier, dismissed concerns that the records were lost and said the archive was still in the “cabinet” on Tuesday morning where it usually is.
Dutch public broadcaster Radio 1 had earlier reported that the archive had been lost, but Kirchmeier said that only the record of one soldier was missing.
He said a couple of historians had gone in search in recent weeks for the records of the soldier, but discovered that the details were missing. The historians thus assumed that the entire archive was lost, Kirchmeier explained.
The war archive contains the details of 32,000 deceased German soldiers, 6,000 of whom were never identified. The Dutch military had compiled identification records where possible and the site of death, age and details of the deceased’s details.
Since 1946, the German military cemetery in the southeastern Dutch town of Ysselsteyn has contained the remains of all Germans who were killed in the Netherlands during the war.
Kirchmeier said the fact that 6,000 Germans cannot be identified does not mean the details are missing. Instead, he said the soldiers and civilians had never been identified and identification is no longer possible.
The German army invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 and the Dutch capitulated five days later. The entirety of the Netherlands was not liberated until 5 May 1945. A total of 102,000 Dutch Jews died in concentration camps during the Nazi occupation.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news