Gerrit Albertus Lasonder, a former alderman of Education and Nazi sympathizer, owned the country estate of Drienerlo before and during the Second World War. In farmhouses on the land that now constitutes the campus, this member of the Dutch National Socialist Movement provided refuge for Germans and Jews alike. Who was this eccentric character?
The country estate of Drienerlo, which spans two-thirds of the current campus with its 95 hectares, has been privately owned throughout the centuries. In the 1930s, the last owner, former alderman of Education Gerrit Albertus Lasonder, converted to National Socialism. Following the war, this became decisive for the fate of Drienerlo. How did this estate come into the hands of the Polytechnic University of Twente?
'Every soldier has his own story. And that story must be told. So that new generations understand the price they paid for our freedom.' These are wise, poignant words from UT student Max Poorthuis, who devotes all his free time and money to a special project: a website about the United States 16th Infantry Regiment from the Second World War.