As in olde times – Air raid parties

The air raid siren is the Engelenbak student house’s oldest tradition, yet none of the 28 residents know its exact origins. A gift brought by a stork, say the Virgil and Corps members who live together in this house on the Oude Delft.

During the Second World War, the student residents had used this air raid siren to help chase away the German soldiers who had commandeered their beloved home. “The Germans had occupied our building, forcing the Dutch students to move to different places throughout the city”, explains Robert Hasselaar (24), a present-day Engelenbak resident. The displaced students would however regularly return to set off the air raid siren. “When the Germans had evacuated the building, the students would then plunder the cupboards. After about five times of returning to the house to find their cupboards bare, the Germans got fed up with it.” They Germans eventually moved out of the Engelenbak, and the Dutch students moved back in.
After the war, the siren was also regularly in use. On the first Monday of each month, air raid sirens across the Netherlands are tested, including the Engelenbak’s siren. Hasselaar and his fellow residents turn the crank, which causes a hellishly loud sound. When the Virgilians hear the siren, they all rush to the Engelenbak as a way of remembering the long ago episode with the German occupiers, but also as a signal to party. “When the siren sounds, all Virgilians down their drinks, and the drink’s party table is emptied in one go”, says Hasselaar. The siren isn’t used more than once a month, however. “It must remain a special occasion”, he adds, “because if we used the siren for every party, it would never stop.” 

Een platform voor nieuwe architectuur- en stedenbouwkundige projecten, dat is wat de Future Faculty moet bieden. Het is een initiatief van studenten Bouwkunde en Industrieel Ontwerpen. Future Faculty wil studenten uitdagen verantwoording te nemen voor hun eigen opleiding door deel te nemen aan projecten en te leren van de ervaringen. In een van de projecten worden de mogelijkheden bekeken om de saaie en uniforme publieke ruimten in een Russische stad te ‘pimpen’.

Editor Redactie

Do you have a question or comment about this article?

Comments are closed.