To commemorate the war and because they were a bit bored. That’s why Alex, Louis, Wouter and Jort dug a bunker in a secret spot near Tongelresestraat.
At first glance, you can’t see anything. But that’s, of course, the purpose of a bunker. It’s only when you stand right in front of it that you notice it – a pallet sunk into the ground with tufts of grass over it. Beneath it gapes the pit, the boys dug out.
They did so in a few days in an abandoned garden in their neighbourhood. They had to haul away a seemingly endless number of buckets of sand. One boy’s hands were torn to shreds; the other’s brand new trainers are no longer bright white but a uniform grey-brown. But they got the bunker finished, much to their delight.
A true bunker
It takes some manoeuvring to get around the nails, but once in, you find yourself in a large cool, pitch-dark room. It has little gun windows, and there’s an extra room. The hatch over the bunker even sports a World War II soldier’s helmet.
“In May, everything about the war is commemorated”, Wouter explains, “We made this bunker for that reason too. Because if those soldiers hadn’t been here to liberate us, we’d all be speaking German now.” He shudders at the thought.
The four bunker builders resolved to be truly silent for yesterday’s two minutes of Remembrance. They’ll celebrate Liberation Day later in the year with crisps and cola. In the bunker, of course.
Editor: Melinda Walraven