A Research Guide for Students by I Lee

Autobiography of Carl Kaas

A Member of the Dutch Underground in World War II

Chapter 26. Causeway Wood

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Going back a few years, I have to mention that our humble village played a small part in the creation of the Southern Sea.

To build that dyke, they constructed enormous baskets out of saplings long and slender. They then filled these baskets with rocks until they sank to the bottom. An enormous supply of saplings was needed. Our bush on the end of the school lane had just the right stuff for the job.

First came the woodcutters, then the transporters who would haul it to the ships in the big city. This was a fantastic adventure for us to watch. On Saturdays, we would spend all day watching the comings and goings.

They would come in the morning with two teams of Belgian horses, each team pulling two wagons tied one behind the other. At the school, the second wagon was unhitched and left. Then each team took a wagon down the mud road. The two fellows helped each other to put half a load on each wagon then came back for the second wagon and did the same thing. After they unloaded the second one onto the first, they each had one fully loaded wagon. They repeated the same procedure, each bringing a half load back to the school and then piling it up to make a full load.

Finally, they went back with one wagon and four horses, and if everything went according to plan, they made it. However, several times even four of those enormous draft horses could not pull a full load through this mud. Then they had to unload etc., etc. When they finally had all four wagons loaded and hitched, off they went the long way around to the city to avoid paying the toll.

Related resources:

Dyke from Rational Wiki. "Dutch dykes: Perhaps the greatest exponents of water and flood management, the Dutch have been building dykes for more than 800 years. As a consequence, in the Netherlands there is a saying: "God created the Earth but the Dutch made Holland". In 1927, the Dutch government embarked on a huge civil engineering project to protect the country from flooding. This resulted in the Afsluitdijk (dijk is the Dutch word for dyke) which was until April 2006 the longest dyke in the world. The completion of this dyke in 1933 effectively isolated the salt-water Zuiderzee (Southern Sea) and commenced the transition into the freshwater IJsselmeer (Lake IJssel, alternative international spelling: Lake Yssel)."

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