Atlantic Wall Bunker Project Dutch Wadden Islands

The Wadden Islands will all have a museum. The bunkers that remained on the islands after the Second World War are partly opened to the public and set up as an exhibition space. The parts that together formed the Atlantic Wall will tell the history of the war and occupation. Initiatives with World War II heritage are being implemented on all Frisian Wadden Islands. The project was made possible with financial support from the Province of Fryslân and the Wadden Fund.

Bunker project Wadden Center Foundation

have been working closely together since 2007 . The foundation that has been established is called Stichting Waddencentra, in which the Nature Museums of the Wadden Islands are united:
The centers are:

  • Nature center Ameland
  • Ecomare Texel
  • Visitor center Schiermonnikoog
  • Center for Nature and Landscape Terschelling
  • The Northwester Vlieland

 

WWII

In November 2012, the Wadden Centers Foundation will receive 934,000 from the Wadden Fund for the Wadden Area during the War project. With this money, a number of bunkers on the four Frisian Wadden Islands will be opened up and equipped as historical information points about the Second World War and history in the Wadden area.

Atlantic Wall

The bunkers on the coast and on the islands are part of the Atlantic Wall. The Germans built this 2,685 km long defense line and remains still lie in the dunes. Much has been demolished over the years. For a long time, little attention was paid to the historic buildings, but after the turn of the millennium interest seemed to awaken. The museums want to record the eyewitnesses and preserve the physical remains.

Bunker on the western tip of Ameland / Source: Ameland Press Agency

Bunker west point Ameland

On Ameland, the Amelander Museums Foundation exposed a bunker in the dunes near Stayokay/Sier aan Zee van Hollum in 2010. In the 1970s, Rijkswaterstaat closed the bunker and buried it under a dune. Years before, the building was a popular party space for Hollumer youth, but over the years that function deteriorated. It became more or less a public toilet.

Flower Power

During the excavation of the bunker at the end of November 2010, the young people’s murals reappeared. The walls were painted brightly in many colors and the words Flower Power indicated the time in which this must have happened. The walls, remains of chairs and beds testify to an energetic life after the war.

Wadden heritage

The initiative for a bunker museum comes from Vlieland. There they wanted to open the infantry position 12 H in 2008 . This prompted the province of Fryslân to discuss the preservation of World War II heritage on the islands with the other Wadden Islands. Physical heritage is present on all islands in the form of bunkers, scaffolding and paving. Over the years, private individuals and organizations on the islands have also collected a large amount of material from this period: photos, books, maps, data on crashed aircraft and war graves and attributes.

Wadden Islands

The situation during the Second World War was different on every island. Many of the defenses have disappeared due to coastal erosion and demolition. They want to keep what remains. Several bunkers have already been excavated and restored on Terschelling and bunkers are also being opened up on the other islands, Texel, Vlieland and Schiermonnikoog. They will have a museum function and can be visited.

Bunker Museum Ameland / Source: Amelander Museums Foundation

Donax and kitchen bunker
The bunker west of the lighthouse on Amel and was worked on in 2015 and 2016. A small house has been placed on the dune, holiday home Donax, which serves as the entrance and visitor center. It is a small holiday home that has been saved from the demolition hammer. The Ameland Bunker Museum opened on October 28, 2016. The excavated former kitchen bunker has become a small unmanned museum with a cartoon, diorama, islander stories, finds and a memorial room for war victims.

read more

  • Ameland in the Second World War – Atlantic Wall
  • Ameland and Amelanders in the Second World War
  • Wadden Fund: subsidy fund for the Wadden area
  • Museum on Ameland – Lighthouse, Bunker, Mills and more
  • In Flanders Fields – poppies for the fallen near Ypres