Lil' bit of Dutch History

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Lil' bit of Dutch History

Post  FrozenIdiot on Tue Feb 28, 2012 10:30 am

(So we can just post stories here from History that we like? I have a major in History so this may just be the board of my dreams~! If not, feel free to delete this)

This story only concerns the place where I live but I always found it super intrestring to listen to (It has been repeated to me for over 20 years now hehe)

The story begins in 1573 (well, it begins well before that, but it gets intresting in this year) The Netherlands (or the Kingdom of United Netherlands as it was called back then) was at war with Spain. During the first siege in 1573, the people of the town Leiden, had plenty of food. They were well prepared for a war, they just closed the citiy's gates and they just waited for it all to blow over. The siege was hard on Spain, it took alot of time and the people of Leiden just wouldn't budge. At all.

Still, Willem the Silent (One of our most famoust royals to date) coudn't let it just pass and he decided that it was time for the Spanish army to leave. Sadly the Dutch army wasn't strong enough and it meant a victory for Spain.

Spain continued the siege, not willing to give up. Leiden was a good town, it had a harbour, it was wealthy for it's time and the more of The Netherlands, Spain could get, the better. On the Dutch side however, Willem was angry, he was determent to free Leiden and therefor sended out a carrier pidgeon asking the city of Leiden to hold out for atleast three months. He promised that he would flood everything around Leiden, meaning that the Spanish would either drown or had to retreat.
Obviously, the surrounding towns were upset, why did they have to lose everything, just to save another town? They thought that the people of Leiden would die anyway, so why not let them?

Willem however, ignored the surrounding cites and stuck to his plan to flood everything anyway. Sadly he got very sick, he was the heart and soul of this whole operation and therefor it came to a halt. The people who supported Willem didn't know what do without him, so they had to wait untill he got better. Furthermore the flooding didn't go as fast as expected. While Willem was still in bed, the mayor of Leiden wrote him a small note in which he said;

We've waited for 3 months now. Our food ran out a month ago Willem replied saying that they should not worry at all, for their relief would come soon.

Willem however, stayed sick for another month. Not only that but they encounterd problem after problem after that. It wasn't untill another month later that they finally reaced Leiden and were ready to save them.

Meanwhile in Leiden, thousands died of starvation but they refused to surrender to the Spanish, knowing that they would betray their country and their honour. Also the chance that the Spanish would make an example out of them was huge.

Mayor van der Werf cared deeply for his town and even offered himself to the people as food. The people of Leiden refused however, saying that they wouldn't eat another human being and they thought to highly of Mayor van der Werf.

Finally (on the 3rd of October 1574) Willem and his army arrived, they saved Leiden and fed them Herring and white bread. Being happy to finally be outside the city people went and celebrated. A little orphan boy found a big pot in the old Spanish camp filled with Hutspot (a mix of carrots, potatoes and unions, boiled and then mashed, it's delicious! You should try it!)

Leiden was finally free.

I like this story alot, I was born and raised in Leiden. Every year we get a day of to celebrate it. We start our day by eating herring and a piece of white bread (I myself do not eat fish so I skip the herring) and then we have a big fair in our town, the largerst of the Netherlands in fact! We eat, drink and just have a party.

The younger kids at school get to eat hutspot and are told the story I just told. This usually happens on the Friday before the 3rd of October 'cause ofcourse we get the day off!

We build a statue of mayor van the Werf and there are quite a few songs about him. He is the best mayor we had so far (and the most loved one. I guess)

Hutspot is delicious by the way, you can buy it all year around and make it yourself.
It's really simple, just boil your potatoes, carrots and unions and mash them and then mix them together. Add pepper or salt if you like. Usually we eat meatballs with it but we also eat sausage.

So that's my story.
If you like have lots more~! Some are more heavier, like from World War 2, I've met and talked with many survivors. They agreed that it's ok for me to share their stories if you guys want Smile I also have alot of pictures from museums. I am just a huge history nerd, but I am proud of it~!!

Sorry for the typos~!

FrozenIdiot

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Join date : 2012-02-27
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