Two army helmets were found while working on the Stratumseind. Near the Oude Stadsgracht, the helmets, a Nazi helmet, and an English helmet lay ‘fraternally’ next to each other.
According to city archaeologist Peter de Boer, the find shows a “graphic picture” of a dark period in Eindhoven’s recent history. “It is quite special, especially because the British helmet is painted with a Dutch flag. The authorities discovered this painting during the cleaning and conservation of the helmet by a metal specialist,” De Boer said.
The meaning of the flag is not clear. “It may have been the helmet of a member of the Princess Irene Brigade. Possibly the headgear was decorated during the celebration of the liberation on Sept. 18. We don’t know, but both thoughts come up in our imagination.”
Traces of violence
The Nazi helmet also shows clear traces of war violence, with an angular hole on one side and a dent on the other. Possibly an impact of shrapnel, according to De Boer.
“If someone had the helmet on when this happened, then this person could not have lived to tell about it afterward.” It is still a mystery as to why the British and German helmet were lying close by together in the ditch. “We have recovered parts of the old brick bridge over the filled-in moat and they were lying near that. So it is possible that someone dropped or threw them into the water from the bridge.”
Eindhoven Municipality informs that archaeological finds were already taken into account during the redevelopment of the city center. The helmets will be displayed in the Catharinakerk from September 18 to October 31. After that, they will also be exhibited at other places in the city.
Translation: Chaitali Sengupta. She also gives online INBURGERING classes.