Crocus flowers mark former route of Wire of Death
A First World War memorial is growing along the border between Flanders and the Netherlands in the form of white crocus flowers
The flowers were planted along part of the route of the Dodendraad, or the Wire of Death, the name given to the high-voltage wire fence placed along 350 kilometres of the border between Belgium and the Netherlands by the Germans in 1915.
The fence was meant to keep citizens from fleeing north into the Netherlands following the occupation of Belgium. It also prevented anyone wanting to join the war effort at the front from arriving from the Netherlands. More than 1,000 people died trying to cross the fenced border.
The Verhalis heritage organisation in the Netherlands launched the idea of planting white crocuses along the entire 350 kilometres of the Wire of Death. They are working with several border communities to make it a reality.
The flowers in Maasmechelen run between the Meeswijk and Uikhoven districts, roughly along the cycle path that runs next to the Maas river. Other Limburg towns plan to plant crocus along the route this autumn, including Bocholt, Neerpelt, Hamont-Achel and Kinrooi.
Kinrooi is home to a reconstruction of the fencing, with information about it posted for visitors.
First World War
lives lost in West Flanders
annual visitors to the Westhoek
First Battle of Ypres