Rotterdam - Winston Churchill this afternoon appointed ereraadslid Rotterdam. Churchill, which surprisingly lost the election after the war, makes a tour of the Netherlands. The Rotterdam flocked watching the Brit.

In the Rotterdam enthusiasm could not stay behind in Amsterdam, The Hague and Leiden. All along the route hung flags and banners. Rotterdam had come in large numbers in order to catch a glimpse of the well-known V-character, hat and cigar British statesman.

The visit began just after midnight when Churchill was met at the border and Overschie Rotterdam Mayor Oud and chief of police Steel.

Churchill accompanied by his wife Clementine and daughter Mary flowers was offered by Henny Bennekers, the daughter of a hostage executed Superintendent of the police and the young Winston Berwers, which was named after the British leader at birth 1941 and so throughout the war could not use his name.

Once on the Coolsingel Churchill was welcomed by thousands of Rotterdam. Before he entered the hall he took office inspected the honor guard of Marines. In the council chamber were the seats of the College put down chairs for guests. Mrs. Churchill with daughter Mary, Ministers Beel and Van Rooyen and the Queen's Commissioner.

good band

The mayor opened the council and asked the committee set- and escorted to allow the council to enter the venerable guest. Under loud applause Churchill was then led into the room.

In his speech reminded those present mayor Old ties between Netherlands and England rooted in history.

"It belongs to the cities whose names you verklaardet never to forget. We are grateful for that. It is therefore our great pleasure and a great honor to have you consider now as belonging to our council. You will certainly remain in the annals of our city listed as the most illustrious member was ever in this Council meeting installed "

(Old mayor of Rotterdam, 13 mei 1946)

Churchill received from the hands of Old honorary membership of the Rotterdam city council. There was however one difference with. Normally normal councilors receive a silver medal, the ereraadslid Churchill got it hung around a gold.

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Churchill quipped in a comment about the honorary membership of the Rotterdam council. “I do not know whether i shall have to be re-elected. I cannot give a promise to be a very regular attendant”. He could not promise whether he would agree, as a councilor, he might be re-elected as prime minister.

Despite his absence, the British statesman promised adventures in Rotterdam follow with interest. Churchill continued in the fact that six years ago the defenseless town was devastated by a merciless bombardment by the Germans.

But if the enemy thought they could thereby break the spirit of the people, he was wrong. Which is actually stronger than ever, said the former prime minister.

The former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom concluded with a message that he had given a few days before the students of Leiden when he was honorary because it took delivery.

“The world is open to you. Go forward . Raise your country to a level it has never yet reached.”

(Winston Churchill, Rotterdam, 13-05-1946)

The new generation had to face this especially in collaboration with all peoples equitable interests to add as new pages to the glorious history of Netherlands.

After lunch there was a short drive from Rotterdam. The Rotterdam received him with a kind of ticker-tape parade on Think, the Schiedamsesingel and Van Vollenhovenstraat. Churchill could see the desolate plains in the center with your own eyes, thus became even more clear to the ravages of war.

The company then went back towards the city limits where Old and Steel goodbye to him. Churchill went on to Valkenburg airport where he would end his five-day visit to our country. There he was seen off by Prime Minister Schermerhorn, Prince Bernhard and the British Ambassador.

How it went

In the City Hall of Rotterdam recalled a plaque in the council chamber and a bust in the hall at the memorable visit of the "greatest Briton of all time". under the plaque "The world is open to you ', a reference to the statement by Churchill in Rotterdam.

Churchill was in 1945 quite unexpectedly defeated in elections by the Labor Party of Clement Attlee. Before the war leader remained nothing but the opposition benches. But Churchill was a frequent speaker and was buried under worldwide tributes, honorary degrees and awards. The visit was to the Netherlands in this respect is one of the many. During a tour in America 1946 he held in the presence of President Truman's famous speech in Fulton, Missouri. That speech we owe the term 'Iron Curtain'.

"From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, is an iron curtain lowered through the European continent. Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe: Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Boekarest one Sofia. All these famous cities and the populations around them, within the Russian sphere and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence, but in large and increasingly to direct control by Moscow ".

Churchill received from the hands of Old honorary membership of the Rotterdam city council. There was however one difference with. Normally normal councilors receive a silver medal, the ereraadslid Churchill got it hung around a gold.

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Though during his visit to Netherlands 1946 in a speech to the States General in The Hague had called for a (kind of) United States of Europe, he opposed the opposition leader against British participation in the European Coal and Steel Community and advocated appropriate distance from the UK compared to Europe, maintaining the British Empire and closer ties with America.

After the Labor Party 1951 was defeated, Churchill became prime minister again. In that capacity, he lived in 1953 Westminster Abbey, the coronation of Elizabeth II. It was a remarkable image; the giant from the days of the British Empire beside a young queen on the threshold of a new era. But his age, he was now 76, began playing tricks on him during his second term. A stroke in June 1953 meant that he became temporarily paralyzed on his left side. The public was not told this. Eventually he joined 1955 off at the celebration of his 80th birthday.

Op 15 januari 1965 at the age of 90 Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill died. He was laid in Westminster Abbey. Thousands of Britons shuffled past him for three days. There was a state funeral and a memorial service at St Paul's Cathedral. Meaning that the British are not forgotten for their country and the world, incidentally, appeared in 2002. When electing the BBC Winston Churchill was voted "Greatest Briton of all time". He finished ahead of Isambard Kingdom Brunel, prinses Diana, Charles Darwin en William Shakespeare.

"Recall also the Churchill dead’

But the legacy of Churchill is not undisputed. For example, historians point out his vision of the peoples of the world in an almost Darwinian socio-way. That is, a people is better than another. However, this must be seen in the light of the general opinion in this area in the Edwardian period and is similar to the rabid racism, for example, a Hitler in any way.

Other critics point to his role in his attitude during the famine in what is now called Bangladesh. By giving food to troops priority the population had to do with less. Churchill has also advocated the use of poison gas (During the Second World War), was an opponent of women's suffrage, put before the war the army against striking workers and found Mahatma Gandhi but a strange fakir in a sheet.

But the most controversial is the strategy adopted by Churchill “bomber command” mass bombing of cities like Cologne, Hamburg and Dresden in the aftermath of the war in which tens of thousands of civilians were killed (For example Hamburg in July 1943 almost 45.000 and Dresden in February 1945 25.000).

The controversy around here again got extra attention by the action of Schiedam during the commemoration on 4 mei 2018. He let fly a plane with the text “Churchill also commemorate the dead” and he walked on the Dam level for eight hours with a banner bearing: “Churchill mass murderer”. He was arrested and transported.


Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad – 13 mei 1946, by City Archives Rotterdam

Rotterdamsch Nieuwsblad – 14 mei 1946, by City Archives Rotterdam

Het Vrije Volk – 14 mei 1946 – Churchill Grateful

Acts of the City of Rotterdam 1945-1946, by City Archives Rotterdam

Geoffrey Best – Churchill (Amsterdam 2014)

Author: Allard Schellens

Date of publication: 13-05-2018

story number: 87

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