Eindhoven (North Brabant Province) lies along the Dommel River, 68 miles southeast of Rotterdam. Eindhoven was chartered in 1232 by Henry I, Duke of Brabant. It developed after 1900 from a small village into one of the largest industrial centres of The Netherlands. In 1920 five adjoining municipalities were annexed, thereby increasing Eindhoven’s population from 6,000 to 45,000 and vastly increasing its area. Since then the town’s population has more than quadrupled.
Much of city’s growth was due to Philips Company, a major Dutch electronics manufacturer that was founded in Eindhoven and built several factories there. Though the corporation moved its headquarters to Amsterdam in the late 1990s, the city remains important to Philips as a centre of technology, with research and development laboratories.
The inscription reads “TER NAGEDACHTENIS AAN HEN DIE VIELEN 1940-1945” or “IN MEMORY OF THOSE WHO FELL 1940-1945”.
EINDHOVEN and OPERATION MARKET-GARDEN
Unlike Arnhem and Nijmegen where the bridges are located within the town’s centre area, the bridges in the Eindhoven section of Operation Market-Garden are located at Best and Son, which are approximately 8 miles north of Eindhoven. These bridges were the objective of General Maxwell Taylor’s 101st Airborne Division (“The Screaming Eagles”).
The British 30 Corps forces would then approach Eindhoven from the south, link up with the Americans, and then continue the advance to Nijmegen and onwards towards Arnhem.
There are several items of interest in the centre of Eindhoven to mark the Market-Garden liberation of Eindhoven.
For anyone visiting the Operation Market-Garden area, you will need the essential book “Major and Mrs Holt’s Battle Guide – Operation Market-Garden” ISBN 0-85052-785-6.
Eindhoven is twinned with the French town of Bayeaux, as the first major towns in the Netherlands and France to be liberated. Annually on 29 September, the ‘Freedom Flame’ is carried from Bayeaux to Eindhoven and rekindles the eternal flame. The monument was sculpted by Paul Gregoire. The three figures on the monument represent the Soldier, Resistance Worker and Civilian. Around the bases the friezes show the progression from occupation through oppression through to liberation.
On the 19 September 1944, the day after Eindhoven’s liberation, after firing some yellow markers over the city some 70 Germans aircraft raided the city. Approximately 220 inhabitants were killed in the raid and are commemorated on the memorial plaque.
The two bronze panels show hands joined by the flames of liberation from each torch. They represent the meeting of the liberation forces: British 30th Corps and the US 101st Airborne Division. The memorial was designed by Jos Reniers and was unveiled by HRH Prince Bernhard, in the presence of an American and British veteran in September 1994.
The inscription reads
Liberation of Eindhoven 1944-1994 US 101st Airborne Division General Maxwell D. Taylor British 30th Corps General Brian Horrocks. Whoever asks for freedom must offer other freedom.