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Memorial Antoine Treis

The monument to Antoine Treis was erected in memory of the French sergeant who died here during the liberation week.

On the memorial is the text:

APRIL 8, 1945

In the night of 7 to 8 April 1945, groups of paratroopers from the Special Air Services (SAS) landed in a large part of Drenthe. Most of them were of French descent. The purpose of these paratroopers was to carry out acts of sabotage and to capture some strategically important objects, but above all to create confusion among the German occupier.

The monument was originally at the back of the building, but was moved to the front around 2010 at the request of the municipality so that it is more visible.

The book Operation Amherst describes the fight in which Treis lost his life. Corporal 1st class Treis, a man with the world record fast jumping with the parachute to his name, is described as a real fighting jacket.

After the landing of Treis and his colleagues near Orvelte, they set out in the early morning of Sunday 8 April 1945 on their way to the Orvelte lock, which is guarded by eight Germans. A light mist hangs over the canal and the dirt road and the Germans may think they will be relieved. In any case, they do not react at first when approaching the French paras, eventually causing a fierce fight at very close range. There are injuries on both sides, but the Germans at the lock have to give in.

In a nearby farm there were 50 Germans, who received reinforcements from nearby Elp. As in so many Amherst battles, the French paras fought heavily outnumbered. They sought cover via the west side of the Vlasfabriek. When the Germans didn't shoot for a while, Treis wanted to force a passage. Immediately after he came out of cover, a short dry burst of fire followed, which Treis probably did not hear again. He falls lifeless to the earth.

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