Search on for Dutch Film Thanking NY For Postwar Aid

ALBANY (AP) -
Nijmegen in ruins after heavy fighting during WWII on Sept. 28, 1944. (U.S. Army archives)
Nijmegen in ruins after heavy fighting during WWII on Sept. 28, 1944. (U.S. Army archives)

A Dutch scholar is searching history archives for a copy of a black-and-white film her country produced to thank New York’s capital for the aid it provided to the Netherlands’ oldest city as it recovered from the devastation caused by one of World War IIbiggest battles.

Anja Adriaans spent the past week scouring archival collections at Albany museums. She’s searching for a copy of “This is Nijmegen,” a short film the Dutch government commissioned after the war to generate donations for Nijmegen’s reconstruction and to thank Albany for donating 300 tons of supplies.

Nobody has located a copy of the film in either the U.S. or Europe.

“I won’t give up,” Adriaans, 56, said. “I am on a mission.”

The film was shown in Albany in 1950, three years after the city sent food, medical supplies, clothing, building materials and other humanitarian aid to Nijmegen.

Albany, settled by the Dutch in the early 1600s, forged a postwar bond with Nijmegen that led to the upstate city starting its popular Tulip Festival in 1949, followed a decade later by a visit from Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.

Much of Nijmegen was destroyed and thousands of its residents were killed or wounded during Operation Market Garden in September 1944. After heavy fighting, British and American troops were able to secure the Nijmegen Bridge, a key Allied objective.