THE HAGUE - In a raid in broad daylight in the Central Population Register in The Hague are probably dozens killed. Also still at least forty to fifty people missing. It is the largest bombing in The Hague since the beginning of the war in 1940.

According to the authorities, except the Population Register, that was located in the Art Hall Kleykamp, also destroyed eight homes and seven severely damaged. The registry seems largely to have gone up in flames.

The death toll is now at 17. Furthermore, there are certain 73 wounded. Most of the victims were employed by the Census and are of Dutch descent. They are mainly young women who would lie under the rubble.


The attack was around three o'clock. British bombers would have been used by the authorities of the cloud and so flew unnoticed Hague.

The aircraft would be flown over the South Holland Islands. The aircraft came from the direction of Gouda. Hague made the pilots use the nearby Peace Palace marker.

But according to eyewitnesses, there were no clouds and the aircraft flew very low, to fly as unseen to The Hague. The aircraft flew so low that the wooden (!) Mosquito's move hit a chimney. None of the aircraft is shot down.

The first bombs made the exterior building was destroyed. Thereafter, incendiary dropped on Kleykamp. This caused a large fire that was difficult to combat, despite the emergency services were quickly on the spot.

authenticity identity

In the Population are all receipts for the new identity, which are required for two years. Also, passport photos and fingerprints are stored. The register is used to verify identity for forgery.

Because it is a precision bombing with a specific purpose, it is likely that the opposition has called for the destruction of the register. Without the registry to people on the street with a forged identity card run, because a check is impossible.

Because today was a normal working day, it was very busy in the register. According to estimates, there were between 50 en 70 officials working.

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The state-controlled media speak of a 'barbaric' attack.

"Again have Anglo-American pilots dropped bombs on a Dutch town and defenseless civilians become victims. History will make a judgment on such a barbaric way of war!”

(Delftsche Courant, 12-04-1944)

"Again there are several people in broad daylight, including many young girls slain, maimed or recorded with injuries, weather is death and destruction sown at all concerned with warfare and the question: why?, we again find no satisfactory answer. "

(De Residentiebode, 12-04-1944)

Some media also refer to the Anglo-American bombing of Nijmegen two months ago. It came around eight hundred people dead. From London came when the excuse that pilots had made a mistake, because they thought they were over German territory. Now that excuse can not be made.

Hoe ging het verder?

The opposition newspapers raved about the bombing of Villa Kleykamp. Basically that was it. The building was destroyed by precision bombing and all pilots (including the Dutch pilot Robbie Cohen) arrived safely back in England again.

Illustrated Pretty Netherlands called it a striking piece of art bomb '.

But there were quite a few caveats. The bombing was indeed carried out at the request of the opposition. They went assume that the people who were NSB members in the registry to work. But most were just normal Dutch officials, sometimes were employed for many years by the Ministry.

A reconstruction of Other Times show later that the opposition had thereby made a misjudgment, Moreover largely on misinformation. We opted for a bombing on a working day, because there would be open all the safes and fire bombs would have a greater effect.

Quite Netherlands wrote about the bombing: "This registry is the Central Population Administration Netherlands disappeared. All papers were filled with photographs and fingerprints as a control material on the municipal population of the occupying great value - and Mr Lentz they did have at his disposal - his way. For thousands, this is a great result. "

But despite all the enthusiasm, showed that half of the register was undamaged after the fire. The remaining identity cards were transferred to the later-hospital NEBO.

The death toll eventually rose to 61.


The bombing at Villa Kleykamp was the first of the Second World War in The Hague, but certainly not the worst. That was a year later, when Bezuidenhout was hit.

Those bombs were meant for a V2 installation in The Hague Forest. Instead, most bombs fell in the residential Bezuidenhout. There were around 550 doden.

The above article is part of series of stories for the Month History 2018. The theme of this year's Uprising. In this case, it is the opposition invoking external help and what consequences can have such rebellion.


De Residentiebode – 12-04-1944 – Airstrike in The Hague

South Hollands Dagblad – 12-04-1944 – Airstrike in The Hague

The Fatherland – 12-04-1944 – Airstrike in The Hague

Delftsche current – 12-04-1944 – Airstrike in The Hague

Illustrated Pretty Netherlands – 15-04-1944 – A striking blow!

Volkskrant – 23 oktober 2008 – Six mosquito bombers and a villa in The Hague

Traces of War – Memorial Kleykamp bombing

Go2war2 – Attack on Kleykamp

Other times – Kleykamp

Wikipedia – Royal Kunstzaal Kleykamp

Author: Dave Datema

published: 01-10-2018

story number: 217

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