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Nijmegen in WWII

Rumors that Allied bombing of eastern Netherlands in WWII was intentional

For years after World War II, a rumor persisted that the Americans had bombed Nijmegen intentionally.

Such talk probably began about the time that Nazi-German propaganda said that it was true; but there may have been other factors.

One factor that was likely of principal importance was the lack of open discussion. The Allied forces were fighting and dying to free The Netherlands and others from German rule — and succeeded. It would have been impolitic to ask too many questions.

It was not until 1984 that anybody produced a definitive work on the subject of the destruction of the eastern Netherlands' cities of Nijmegen, Deventer, Enschede, and Arnhem. In that year, the amateur historian Alfons Brinkhuis published "De Fatale Aanval," a work that remains the point of reference.

Brinkhuis determined that the Allied bombardment on 22 February 1944 was indeed accidental.

A study by the Dutch Institute for War Documentation affirmed Brinkhuis' conclusion in the year 2005 — and, in fact, assessed his book as the definitive history of the events.

It was in reference to Brinkhuis' work that the institute recommended that no more money be spent on research into the matter.

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