Friday, 1 May 2009


The name of this city, which lies just 16 miles north of my current position, has become synonymous with the mindless attack on the Royal Family and the associated Queensday celebrations, that all in Holland are so used to. Apeldoorn, a leafy city of just over 140,000, has long associations with the Dutch Royal Family. The 19th century King Willem III resided there in Palace 't Loo, as did his daughter and eventual successor Queen Wilhelmina, who became famous during the Second World War.

Yesterday was to have been a joyful celebration of the 100th birthday of Queen Juliana, who ruled Holland from 1948 to 1980. Queen Beatrix and her family were touring Apeldoorn, at first on foot, later in an open-topped bus. Just as they were approaching the Palace 't Loo, the attack took place. Seven people have died. The culprit died at 3 am this morning, but 5 bystanders had lost their lives by that time, one being a child. A Military Policeman died this afternoon, bringing the total death toll to seven.

The corpse of the attacker has been transferred to the Forensic Laboratory in Rijswijk, just outside The Hague. His every move on April 30th, 2009, will be retraced and reconstructed, from the moment he left his bed to the point he crashed. 250 police have been assigned that elaborate task, which will probably take several months. At the end, it is hoped a motive will have been found. Just after he crashed, the attacker told police he wanted to attack a named member of the Royal Family - that name has not been released.

Today, people have come to Apeldoorn and the location of the attack. Many said they had not been able to sleep, and needed to 'do something'. A register of condolence has been opened on the Internet. If you want to sign, feel free to visit this site. Click on the link marked Condoleance toevoegen [add condolence] to leave your message.

1 comment:

lunarossa said...

So terrible and so sad and the same time. I don't think there is ever a reason to kill someone you don't even know. The only explanation is that that man was crazy and acted in moment of madness costing so many lives. Ciao. A.