‘De vlucht out of Breda’
When Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940, former mayor Van Slobbe initiates a large-scale evacuation, better known as De Vlucht. Evacuation has been a much discussed topic to date.
On the day of evacuation, 50,000 Breda residents have to leave their homes. The residents leave in groups on different routes to the south. To take as much stuff as possible, cargo bikes, farm carts and prams are stuffed.
‘The man and his donkey’
Along the way, a group of refugees has to hide in the ditches, just as they end up in a line of fire between the French and Germans. Forty people did not survive the attack. Another group continues to Sint Niklaas and looks for safety at a primary school in the village. Some people from Breda think the threat is too great and decide to travel all the way to the north of Spain.
One of the groups continues to Sint Niklaas (Belgium) and is hiding in a girls’ school in the village. Willem de Kok, along with his heavily pregnant wife and five children, belongs to the group of refugees who stop in Sint Niklaas. The family arrives at the school at the same time as a man and his donkey. The animal protests violently and does not want to enter the school. Willem certainly takes it for granted and seeks shelter with his family elsewhere. Not much later the school is bombed.
The Flight causes a total of 104 Breda victims. Afterwards, the evacuation turned out to be unnecessary. Breda is taken by the Germans without firing a shot. TelmoMiel were inspired by the story of Willem de Kok. The girl with animal ears and flowers is a symbolic reference to De Vlucht.
A collaboration with Brabant Remembers