ROTTERDAM – In Rotterdam West, the so-called Bellebom was successfully defused. Before surgery seven people had their homes, the biggest evacuation since the Flood. The whole operation took about six million guilders.

Around five o'clock this afternoon gave Pepper mayor of Rotterdam signaling safe. Shortly before had experts from the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) The bomb retrieved from a backyard Bellevoystraat.

The employees have taken the bomb to Culemborg.

The Bellebom is named after the Bellevoystraat in Rotterdam West. The bomb hit 29 november 1944 in what is now the back of the houses on the Bellevoystraat. The projectile -a thousand pounder- was intended for the Sichterheitsdienst. Last year resident Ottenberg sent a letter to the church. She wanted her to move from the street to the town indicate that there was a bomb in her garden.

The tunneltraverse in Rotterdam during the decommissioning of the Bellebom. Foto: Stadsarchief Rotterdam

During the operation the area Bellevoystraat made a weird impression. Streets were completely deserted. Not only the residents were away, but all cars were taken away.

Even at Gravendijkwal, a thoroughfare where even on Sunday driving enough traffic, Now was ghostly quiet.

Ontruiming

The city of Rotterdam had all pulled out all the stops for surgery. Around the Bellevoystraat had 2.800 buildings to be evacuated. had all the dwellings were in the so-called Zone A, shops and businesses checked no one was present and whether the gas was shut.

People had been told that they are at eight o'clock in the morning had to be ready for inspection. All buildings were searched, no one was left. Then, they were provided with a sticker.

But the operation was not for everyone as smoothly.

"I have three and a half hours before my door stood. The roots are from my boots. If they had given me which we had long been away six million. " (Local resident in Het Vrije Volk, 28-03-1988)

If agents could not go inside, the building was violently broken up and still searched. at 72 buildings carpenters had to break things up and then shut again. The bill is for residents.

Short Bayonet Street in Rotterdam during the decommissioning of the Bellebom. Foto: Stadsarchief Rotterdam

Mrs Allewijn (92) all the fuss was unnecessary. She had 44 years ago you drop the bomb at her in the street. "I can hear it", says the evacuation against the reporters of The Free People.

Almost all residents have voluntarily left their homes. Only a 44-year-old woman from Joost van Geel Street refused to leave. After the police had spoken in fifteen minutes on woman, she still went along for questioning.

All cars had to be removed in Zone A. the police 55 abandoned cars towed.

In the radius of 300 tot 600 meter men were ordered to stay inside the Bellebom during decommissioning. Zo’n 22 mensen zijn opgepakt. They walked during surgery anyway street in zogehten 'Zone B'. They receive an official report.

According mayor Peper these people were not aware of the developments.

Energiehal is prepared in Rotterdam for shelter residents Bellamy neighborhood i.v.m. Disassembly good. Foto: Rob Bogaerts, National Archives / Anefo

daycare

The municipality had also ensured the operation for reception in the Energy Hall. there could 350 people go, but there was only a few. The hundreds of frozen meals that were ready could go back to the supplier.

Research had shown that would use between one thousand and twelve hundred people Daycare. But many people choose to go to friends or family. Also of special care for pets was not popular.

Municipal newspaper information about the dismantling of the Bellebom. Foto: Museum Rotterdam

The community had made in preparation for the operation a special Bellebom newspaper "and scattered in the neighborhood. Also Radio Rijnmond was quite the day in line with the latest information about the eviction.

Operation

A little later than planned, about ten to two began dismantling the Bellebom. The neighborhood is almost deserted. Adjutant Schoots the EOD tried together with colleagues Linschoten to defuse the bomb.

"The unscrewing the detonator at a distance I noticed a hundred percent with. Whether we were shocked by the condition of the detonator was located? There, What is scaring? It looked at first not so hot. I watched my colleagues Linschoten and we decided not to risk it. look, dangerous is it when the detonator was hitting objects. Luckily I had yesterday a steady hand. It should also be in this business. " (Het Vrije Volk, 28-03-1988)

The bomb was ten meters depth. A pair of wing members were found at six meters in depth. At six minutes before the bomb was defused three. Thereafter, the bomb was lifted out of the well.

De Bellebom, without tailpiece. Foto: Museum Rotterdam

to museum

Mayor Pepper was especially relieved that the whole operation is resolved smoothly. In 1986 is spontaneous in Berlin detonated a bomb from World War II. It was a kindergarten in the air.

As far as Pepper we will not see a similar operation soon. Too expensive and too drastic, found the mayor. But following the Bellebom the municipality again 16 letters received on similar duds remaining in the soil.

Pepper said the surgery today a classic example for the Netherlands'. He'll try to get back to Rotterdam Bellebom. The bomb should be exhibited in the Museum Rotterdam. "But without content", Pepper added.


Hoe ging het verder?

The Bellebom returned to Rotterdam and is now in Museum Rotterdam. Without content, such as Rotterdam mayor Pepper (logically) wilde.

The Bellebom was certainly not the last bomb that was cleared in the city. There are dozens of such munitions in the city, but all those operations were not as extensive as this.

In 1990 For example, the 'Hillebom’ (long Hilleweg) dismantled. When did but 800 homes to be evacuated. "A routine job at risk’ was then written by the media. Zo’n 1700 people had their homes.

According to the AD has only been the removal of all bombs in the city of Rotterdam 2016 spacious 5,3 million euros cost. Of these, almost three-quarters covered by the State.

The next "major surgery’ scheduled (a date is not yet known) which is the Claes de Vrieselaan. For the dismantling of the 'Booisterbom’ (named after the resident) three houses are demolished, because the bomb located under one of the three buildings.

The immediate reason for removing this bomb is underpinning the neighbors. And striking poles in the ground may well have implications for the dud, as thought.

What this operation will be is not yet clear. That depends on the size of the bomb.

Sources:

Het Vrije Volk – 28-03-1988 – The ignition of six million

TVNZ – 28-03-1988 – Dismantling bomb moves Rotterdam

 

RTV Rijnmond – 27-03-2014 – De Bellebom

 

Text: Dave Datema

published: 27-03-2018

story number: 79

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