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Princess Beatrix to attend Putten raid commemoration

princess beatrix
© RVD - Jeroen van der Meyde

Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands will attend the 75th commemoration of the Putten raid in October. She will attend a meeting in the Old Church in the town of Putten with several relatives of the victims. She will be accompanied by Paul Blokhuis, the State Secretary for Health, Welfare and Sports.

The commemoration of the Putten raid will be held on 2 October, by the county of Putten and the October 44 Foundation. Queen Juliana was the first to unveil a monument to the victims in 1949 and Princess Beatrix, then still reigning Queen, was also present for the 50th commemoration.

The town of Putten was the target of a raid by the German occupying forces on 1 October 1944. The raid was a reprisal for an ambush of two German officers and two German corporals by the Dutch resistance, during which one of them died and one of them was injured. At the command of General Friedrich Christiansen, Putten was surrounded and the men and women of the town were separated. Over 100 houses were set on fire and six men and one woman were killed during the raid. The following day, most of the men (661 in total) were taken to Amersfoort concentration camp and 602 of those were taken to Neuengamme for forced labour. Only 48 of the men returned home after the war.

The commemoration of the Putten raid is part of the “75 Years of Freedom” and several members of the Dutch, Belgian and British royal families will take part over the coming year. The Prince of Wales is set to attend the commemoration for the Battle of Arnhem on 21 September in Ede.