CRASH has been active in research in the so called Randstad Region (the area in western Netherlands comprising the three large cities Rotterdam, Den Haag and Amsterdam and their environment) since 1987 where it has its main operating area. In this region approximately 750 aircraft were downed during the Second World War. In these twenty years of its activities the foundation focuses mainly on ‘the story’ behind every piece of wreckage. That increases the meaning of the exposed material and artifacts in our museum and everything is being studied from various angles with the purpose of saving cultural historical heritage.
The collection pertains to a unique period of Dutch military aviation history. The research of CRASH has lead, as the only one in the world, to the finding of a Dutch fighter aircraft, the Fokker D-21 nr. 229. The wreck has been partly restored and is very obvious in the collection of exposed items.
The research about the air war has still not been completed and it appears there is much interest to learn more about this period from the side of the population. Recently CRASH has been researching the crash of a German Me 109 and of a Fokker G-1 fighter.
Many have paid the ultimate price during the battles that took place over our heads. The young allied crew members fought for our freedom; lest we forget what they did!!!
The foundation has set its purpose to present a large exhibition in an educational and informative way about the air war within the municipality of Haarlemmermeer because it is necessary to remind people and to keep telling people about the horrors of war.
A well-known address for persons in hiding in the Haarlemmermeer during the Second World War was the simple laborer’s cottage of the Sam and Antje Breyer family at the IJweg 1742 in Nieuw Vennep. It had to be demolished with all due respect because a housing development had to appear at that site. That is why CRASH took the initiative to safeguard this story for the Haarlemmermeer and keeps recounting it. For that purpose a number of important sections of this little house could not be lacking in our museum in Lisserbroek. In a cottage of 4 x 6 meters between 1943 and 1945 18 to 20 people were hiding. Their neighbors only discovered all those people in hiding when Sally Cohen (under his cover name ‘Ome Henk’ which means as much as uncle Henk) and the others appeared from the cottage at the day of the liberation, waving the tricolor.
There is also the story about the resistance-woman and special agent Jos Gemmeke (the Sphinx), who was dropped by parachute above Nieuwkoop. She is the only woman, except Queen Wilhelmina, who was awardes the 'Militaire Willemsorde'. The original powderbox which she used to smuggle microfilms to the headquarters of Prince Bernhard in Belgium in 1944, is one of the most important artefacts in the museum.
The museum contains a reconstruction of a Spitfire and a British airfield control tower.
For current visiting hours, please visit the website of the museum.
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