The War in the Corner Chronicle of a village in wartime Netherlands


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by Jan Braakman


“Laren is reported to be cleared, 6 brigade are passing through,” reported the war diarist of the Toronto Scottish Regiment on April 6, 1945. The village where my parents had been brought up, and where I was born 15 years later, had been liberated after five years of Nazi German occupation.

More than 30 young Canadian men had lost their lives in the battle to free the village of Laren and its scant 500 inhabitants. Most of them are buried in the woods near Holten, 15 kilometres away from Laren, among the 1355 Canadian soldiers who died fighting in the Netherlands. Lieutenant General Guy Simonds chose the spot because of its resemblance to the landscape of Ontario.



 

The War in the Corner

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