Waalsdorpervlakte Bourdon Bell

This site is a kilometer down a hiking and biking path through the dunes. The bell is encircled by a single strand of wire and protected by the unambiguous signage. Google Maps informs that the site opens at 10:00. I’d read that and thought it was a mistake, or that it applied to a visitors center. I’m waiting now to see if someone actually arrives at 10:00 to unlock the gates. I have as much interest in stepping over the wire fence as I do in standing in line at the Anne Frank House.

“Many countrymen sacrified for your freedom – enter this place with respect.” This seems such a curious message. I am trying to imagine it in Belarus, Russia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, in fact it’s a bit difficult to imagine it anywhere. Last week I visited any number of sites in Germany which had various versions of “the dead warn us”. This prompts me to wonder about the nature of the freedom which was sacrificed for, just as I wonder to what extent the warnings are heard.

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