Text on panel 8
April 5th, 1943
Bombing of Mortsel
Saint Vincent, screaming children everywhere
What happened here?
The new school building of the French-speaking school Sint-Vincentius, roughly on the same spot as the current school building, was hit by a few direct hits. The children were buried under the collapsing classes. 103 students and 3 teachers did not survive. A gigantic bomb crater yawned at the place where the school building stands today.
A student wrote in her diary
"Suddenly I don't feel any ground under my feet anymore and I fall like a log into the rubble, deep, very deep. Let me pass out anyway! Am I dead? And mama, where are you right? It's so dark below," so dark, so dusty. I can hardly move. Later I find out that I am lying in the well of the bomb. "
"It is quiet, only shouting and crying. I hear people speaking. With my right eye I see through a slit some feet of people. Now and then a stone falls on me, rolling down the mountain. I want to call, but I Can't, is it? It's all so unreal. My mouth is full of sand. I try to remove it with my saliva. Suddenly I feel a small hand in my right hand, a very cold hand. Someone is lying next to me. I don't let go anymore, so I don't feel alone. Again I pull the hand to get that girl closer to me and suddenly I realize that I have a ripped off arm and not the girl I was hoping for. God what is the dead strange. And mama where is she now? "
"I'm starting to cry. My back, my legs, oh my whole body is so painful. I'm starting to get scared. I'm starting to pray. Oh mama come. Mama, please come!"
This walk was realized by the city of Mortsel in collaboration with Pieter Serrien.
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