Old Church, Scheveningen, 1945
Oude Kerk, Scheveningen, 1945

No-go area

Scheveningen was largely abandoned. The only civilians allowed to live there, or to enter the area, were those needed to service the militarised zone (such as shopkeepers, cafe owners and medical staff). Even for them, the beach and promenade were a no-go area.

German soldiers were billeted in the empty beach hotels. The paving stones were removed from many streets and used to lay tracks to the bunkers in the dunes. After the panic of ‘Mad Tuesday’ (5 September 1944), with its rumours of imminent liberation, many German administrators and members of the pro-German National Socialist Movement of the Netherlands (NSB) went to live inside the militarised zone. Oddly enough, children found the streets of abandoned houses a thrilling – if risky – place to play.

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