44. No bricks for the enemy!
In 1941, Kruitwagen, owner of the Panoven brickworks, refuses to supply bricks to the Germans for the Atlantic Wall and the factory grinds to a standstill. November 1944: the Battle of Arnhem is over but Zevenaar is swamped by heavy allied gunfire and large numbers of refugees look for shelter at the brickworks.
During the Battle of Arnhem and in its aftermath, the area on the other side of the Rhine, around Zevenaar, was targeted by heavy allied gunfire. This resulted in a flood of evacuees from Arnhem and the surrounding area. Many found refuge in the ovens at the brickworks along with labourers who had been digging the German trenches. Some stayed for a short time and others for longer. In November 1944 Zevenaar was evacuated.
When the Canadians liberated Zevenaar on 2nd April 1945, the town lay in ruins. A corporal, Corporal Fergusen was killed on the level crossing during this battle. A wounded Dutch soldier who had volunteered with the Canadians was looked after at the brickworks for a month before being able to return to his unit.
The bricks that had been waiting since 1941 were finally fired and a bank loan meant the Kruidwagens could buy coal to keep the business going. Meanwhile, The Netherlands started rebuilding the nation.
Buitengoed de Panoven (Panoven Country Estate) Panovenweg 18 6905 DW Zevenaar GPS Code: 51°55' 2.09"N 6° 4' 12.69"O