The Hague and the Atlantic Wall

From the summer of 1941, Hitler moved ever more troops to fight the Soviet Union on the Eastern Front. At the same time, however, Nazi Germany was expecting a sea-borne Allied invasion in the west. The solution to the dilemma was the construction of the Atlantic Wall between 1942 and 1945. The ‘Wall’ was actually a series of concrete bunkers, manmade barriers and natural obstacles like cliffs and rocks, stretching along five thousand kilometres of North Sea and Atlantic coast from northern Norway to the Spanish border.

Seyss-Inquart and Clingendael

The Reichskommissar (head) of the Nazi-occupied Netherlands between 1940 and 1945 was an Austrian lawyer called Arthur Seyss-Inquart. He lived on the Clingendael estate. In 1943 most government departments moved from The Hague to places inland, like Hilversum and Utrecht. Seyss-Inquart remained in the city, as a symbol of unflinching German authority. To protect his headquarters, a second high-security militarised zone (Stützpunktgruppe Clingendael) was created, defended by its own anti-tank ditches and bunkers.