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Nieuw Vennep 16 July 2018

Good afternoon

I have heard from various sources that the Crash museum is having to close for alleged financial gain to the Gemeente. I believe that there are plans to replace this massive piece of local history with, amongst other things, a possible art gallery and a pancake house. 

As a donateur to the museum, both financially and physically, I must make my strongest possible objections to this closure. The financial donation is personally irrelevant to this objection. What is important to me is the fact that items I gave to the museum, which belonged to my father during his service in the RAF in WWII, are there for me, my children, and grandchildren to visit and see at any time that we wish, as well as other visitors to the museum. Besides being conveniently located his belongings are alongside others who served in WWII. Visiting the museum also acts as a memorial to other members of my family who served in WWII – an uncle who served on the infamous Burma Railway and another uncle who served in the SAS and spent most of his war time in France, risking his life every day by sending back intelligence data to the UK. All three were fortunate in returning alive from their experiences (but obviously mentally scarred right up until the day they died) and I still remember clearly meeting all three of them for the first time back in 1945/6. Each visit to Crash brings back those memories and, in the case of my father, very emotionally.

My own RAF uniform clothes the dummy which guards the Spitfire every day. That too is a memorial to all the Battle of Britain pilots who gave their lives. For these reasons, this building is far more than a museum. It is a memorial to all those – British, Dutch, and other nationalities – who sacrificed their lives. It is perhaps too easy for the younger council members in the Gemeente Haarlemmermeer to prioritise finance over history but please give some consideration to the older generation who were around at the time and will never forget the bravery of those who served and the horrors of the war that they served in. Moving a memorial is a very contentious issue and, in my view, almost sacrilege and certainly an affront to all common decency particularly if the only motive is limited financial gain

Regards

J.David Atkins (ex Royal Air Force)