The European Atlantic Wall Heritage Foundation (De stichting Europees Erfgoed Atlantikwall)
De stichting Europees Erfgoed Atlantikwall (SEEA) was founded in 2014 with two main goals: to raise awareness for the Atlantic Wall as a heritage entity amongst a wide audience and to further develop the cultural-historical experience it offers. These goals are being realised by the organisation of various projects with a focus on recreation and tourism. Bunkerdag is the best-known example of these.
Back in 2014 we discovered that there were a whole host of different organisations focussing on bunkers and the Atlantic Wall. These foundations are run solely by volunteers and, for the most part, tell only the story of their respective local bunkers and WOII experiences. A wealth of fascinating stories was being told, bunkers revealed and in some cases even furnished or staged. Only the binding factor was missing, something to show how the Atlantic Wall has affected the (Dutch) coastal region as a whole. By collaboratively opening to the public on the same day to tell a combined story of the coastal defence system we hope to give everyone a better picture of this amazing piece of our history.
What is the scope of Bunkerdag?
Bunkerdag is growing - that's for sure! We made a modest start in 2014 in The Hague. Another edition followed in June 2015, around D-Day, when Hoek van Holland, Katwijk, Noordwijk, IJmuiden and Den Helder also participated. More locations joined in 2016 including Wijk aan Zee, Egmond aan Zee, Oostvoorne, Hellevoetsluis and Wassenaar, though we're far from complete! Bunkerdag was further expanded in 2017 and 2018 and we aspire eventually to fully illustrate how the Atlantic Wall spanned the whole coastline.
Stay up to date with details of all the 2019 participating locations via our programme here.
Who is responsible for organising Bunkerdag?
The foundation board members are: Marco van Baalen (chairman) - director of Stichting Haags Historisch Museum, Geert-Jan Mellink (secretary/treasurer) - among other things, author of the in 2016 published guide De Atlantikwall in Nederland en België and Hub Kockelkorn (board member) - currently employed at the Museon and contributor to the Den Haag en de Atlantikwall exhibition and the remembrance route Atlantikwall Den Haag.
Deirdre Schoemaker, employee of Winkelman en van Hessen, is responsible for the core organisation, marketing and communication of Bunkerdag.
Besides the aforementioned, much of the operational organisation is in the hands of the many volunteers of the participating bunker foundations. They actively recruit supplementary volunteers and organise the necessary walks, guided tours and various other activities in the months preceding the event itself.