Stretching along the southern dikes of the ‘Island of Dordrecht’ in The Netherlands a striking collection of bunkers*, or group shelters can be found. Being part of the ‘Fortress Holland’ they were commissioned in the 1930ties by the Dutch government. Most of them were not yet finished when Germany invaded The Netherlands in 1940 and they were hardly used by the Dutch army. A few were used by shelter seeking civilians and during 1944-45 the German army used them. Only a few shelters have traces of shelling, mainly from the Allied Forces. Most of the battles were fought elsewhere.

I was born and raised in Dordrecht and I always passed them on my cycling rounds through this part of the Hollandse Biesbosch. Placed at a strategic distance from each other most of the shelters stand clearly visible in the grass-land, others are more hidden in the vegetation, on private land or on floodplains between the dikes and the river. Some are being used as a storage shed, not their intended fuction. Their current duty as last remnants is preserving memory. Unfinished or not.

* In the vernacular these structures are usually known as bunkers or cazemates, the technical term is group shelters. Group shelter Type P to be exact. P for pyramid.