Martin Roemers


Hans van der Veer (b. Netherlands, 1928), was blinded as a child when he was injured by ordinance abandoned by allied soldiers soon after the liberation of Holland.
'Schinnen, the village where we lived, had already been liberated a couple of months before by the Americans. Black American soldiers collected ammunition the Germans had left behind and stored them in the forest behind our house. There, they would defuse the bombs through controlled detonation. A couple of boys from the neighbourhood discovered the munitions dump and warned the Dutch security guards. The guards went to the forest, together with the boys. Nobody knows exactly what happened but the ammunitions exploded and all eight of them were killed. A month later I was harvesting tubers on a field where British soldiers used to bivouac. I found a bakelite box and tossed it in the wheelbarrow. Back at the farm, I took the lid off the box. A pin fell out and the box exploded. I was immediately blinded. I also lost my right hand and my left hand was badly injured. At the hospital, I was put in a ward with about ten other children. All of them had been injured in accidents with ammunitions. For 35 1/2 years I worked as a telephone operator for the government. I have also been a volunteer at the League for the Blind for fifty years. I offer guidance to elderly people who are becoming blind or visually impaired. Becoming blind as an adult is far more difficult to accept than when it happens at a younger age. Young people see more possibilities for their future. I play a game of braille scrabble with my wife every day and we also try to solve cryptogram. It keeps your brain wo

Object Name
Martin Roemers
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