Dredge Drain Reclaim: The Art of a Nation by Johan Van Veen

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By Johan Van Veen

In the course of the career of the Netherlands the Germans made it very unlikely to hold out any upkeep paintings on our shorelines or any sounding, soil investiga­ tion or current-measurement paintings off the co ast, within the estuary of the Scheldt or within the channels among the Frisian Islands. The paintings ofDr. Johan van Veen, then chief of this survey, hence got here to astandstill. He then got here to me and requested me to provide him a few activity, in order that he, an indefatigable employee, may perhaps proceed to have paintings, the simplest antidote opposed to the German poison, which affected simply completely unemployed males. I knew his love for the heritage of our conventional dealing with of the defence opposed to the water. An all-round research had by no means been released, for in common occasions a guy with complete wisdom of this kind of paintings can't make time for one of these examine, as water is our eternal enemy, which has to be saved less than continuous elose statement. From Dr. van Veen's e-book it is going to be elear that the Dutch demeanour of dredging, draining and reelaiming is a mix of traditions inherited from our ancestors and utilized technology to deal with smooth calls for. this custom is in our blood. A extra intimate wisdom of it is going to, i'm hoping, provide a kcy to so me of the salient issues in our nationwide personality.

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Or will we be driven away East - all of us - in order to make place for some alien race, as Hitler had planned? A highly developed country, well situated, is worth stealing. For us eternal vigilance is vital. The 18th century had been a century of decline in many ways. s nous le deluge", and the continent of Western Europe had indolently awaited the coming of that deluge. A general threat was hanging in the air like a thunderstorm approaching its outburst, slowly but steadily. When it had come and eventually passed, it left Holland a dilapidated country.

In Italy, for instance, the Pontine Marshes near Rome attracted Dutch enterprise. It started with the 'Die-Maestro' Gilles van den Houten in 1623, while later Nicolaas Cornelis de Wit took over the work. They had acquired the monopoly from Pope Urbanus VII, but a friend said aptly of De Wit: "he, who wishes to catch two hares at the same time gets nothing". De Wit wanted to do too much at the same time and did not succeed. After him came Nicolaas van der Pellen, but he too had to give up the work in 1659.

On free ground with a free people I long to be. "I would say to that moment: "Stay, thou art so grand! " In writing these last passages of his "Faust", Goethe, himself in his last days, saw as his ideal a free nation striving for its existence on a free soil, keeping the evil waters out by united effort. He must have had the Dutch people in mind: the paradise behind the sea walls, the floods raging up to the very tops, and a teeming people on this newest of soils fighting against the elementary power of the sea and emerging victorious.

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