Education: Living Memorial

In April 1943, the German masters of The Netherlands ordered the University of Nijmegen (rhymes with sly pagan) to sign a loyalty pledge. It was promptly returned—unsigned—to occupation headquarters. Punishment came swiftly: many professors and students were dragged off to concentration and labor camps, and the university closed its doors.

One sunny September Sunday, a year later, U.S. paratroopers tumbled from transports above Nijmegen. In three days, aided by the Dutch student underground, the 82nd Airborne Division captured intact Nijmegen Bridge—"Gateway to The Netherlands." In the fighting, most of the university was reduced to rubble; the retreating Germans deliberately fired the...

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