The Second World War did not pass unnoticed by Nijmegen and its surroundings. The city itself was liberated in September 1944 during the Allied Operation Market Garden.

However, this did not go without a struggle. At least 48 Allied soldiers died while crossing the river Waal, hoping to take the bridge from the German troops on the other side.

Around Groesbeek—a stone’s throw away from the German Reichswald—there was also heavy fighting. American paratroopers landed in the hills around the village and then headed for Nijmegen. You can experience Market Garden and the liberation in the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945. A little further south, in Overasselt, at one of the so-called Liberation Route Europe listening spots (L3), Josephine Baker is commemorated.

The entertainer performed there several times in October 1944. Nobody would guess that the ‘black pearl’ worked for the French resistance! Once back in Nijmegen you can see clearly that the heart of the city has been rebuilt after it was destroyed during a bombing by the Allied Air Force. More than 800 people were killed.

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Route information

Start: in Groesbeek
Finish: in Groesbeek
Bicycle junction route