‘Den dodendraad’- Nanda raemansky

‘Den dodendraad’ path on the border between Heille(NL) and Middelburg(BE)

Borderarea’s tend to be a hotspot when problems of national matter occure. While I was roaming the border, looking for all the borderpassages nearby, hoping to find a gap, I stumbled upon this path in Heille(NL), that leads alongside the border to Middelburg(BE).

Information board about the death wire, on the path somewhere halfway the Zuiderbruggeweg in Heille (NL)

At the beginning of the path, this board was placed. It informs about ‘Den Dodendraad’, the 332 kilometers long wire barrier, that the Germans had put up along the Dutch-Belgiumborder in WWI. The war in which the Dutch, unlike the Belgians, managed to remain neutral.

Borderpassage with barrier at the scheidingstraat in Eede(NL)

It’s name, meaning wire of death, was given to it because it was put under highvoltage. This to prevent people to flee from Belgium to Holland or smuggle espionage messages to the enemy. Still this couldn’t stop many people from fleeing and plenty of espionage communications to be established.

Borderpassage with barrier at the Scheidingsstraat in Eede. 21 x 30 cm crayon on paper

Although the numbers have not been confirmed by any official records, it is estimated that approximately 1500 people have died while trying to pass this wire of death.

Barrier at the borderpassage, Scheidingstraat in Eede(NL)

Today, this tragical event is commemorated with white crocusses, that bloom every beginning of spring along the full 332 kilometers of ‘Den dodendraad’.

Borderpassage with barrier at the Tol in Middelburg(BE)

And today there is once again a barrier, although this time luckily, without any electrity or World War at hand.

Raemansky 2020 ©

  1. Eliane Velozo

    Helo. I truly believe that a lot of people loves making borders for a lot of reasons.
    and COVD-20 is justifying the creation of many different borders.
    Great work

    1. Avatar photo

      Thank you Eliane. I agree and considder it a matter of concern. What frightens me most about this is how easily and willingly people let that happen here in Europe. As if they have forgotten how valuable and precious their freedom really is.

  2. Avatar photo
    Anastasia Patsey

    We usually say that it’s much harder to build something, rather than break something. But in the case of borders, I suppose, it’s just the opposite.

    1. Avatar photo

      You can say that again Anastasia. I never expected anything like this and then like in no time at all my home area turned into a cage. At least thats what it felt like to me, when I saw the fence for the first time. Like being caged.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Virtual residents