From the collection of the National Liberation Museum 1944-1945, Groesbeek
h 80 cm x w 100 cm
Dutch cities and villages were filled with signboards: displaying instructions and warnings in German. Most were for practical purposes, for instance to help people find different German government offices. But there were also signs with a more threatening tone, like this one indicating a Sperrgebiet: an area restricted to everybody without official clearance.
This public announcement that trespassers entering this area would be shot on sight was issued by the Ortskommandant (local military commander). Signs like these were usually improvised, made from planks of wood quickly thrown together and painted with warnings in both German and Dutch. The wear and tear of the weather caused the cracks between the planks, but the message's menacing tone is still clear.