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Panel 10 Mortsel Bombing 5 April 1943

Text on panel 10
April 5, 1943
Bombing of Mortsel

A few improvised nursing stations were soon established on the Gemeenteplein. Emergency workers rushed to the disaster area from all corners of Antwerp. With the materials they could find, they attempted to provide first aid to the countless injured people.

A chaos
"Everyone walked around aimlessly on site, usually the residents themselves, relatives or friends and disaster tourists. In the beginning it was purely improvisation. Family and relief workers worked with bare hands until they bled."

A nurse tells
"The first man who walked up to me on Mechelsesteenweg was bleeding enormously. He had lost an arm. I helped him into a ravaged house, but it was no help. The man bled to death within minutes. How The closer I got to the old town hall, the more terrible it got. There it was Dante's hell. Dead and mutilated lay everywhere, right down to the gaping funnel hit by a bomb. It reeked of gas. Water spouted like fountains everywhere. From the burst pipes. In a few minutes all my bandages were used up. For hours I cared for victims: with torn curtains and with sheets that were everywhere. Broken limbs were splinted with chair legs and pieces of plank. It was only towards evening that the grooming started and the removal of the wounded was a somewhat organized process The first loads of the injured were taken away by trucks, mostly by Germans.

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  • Text: Stad Mortsel en Heemkundige Kring Mortsel / Mia van den Berg
  • Photos: Stad Mortsel en Heemkundige Kring Mortsel