Late in World War II, warplanes dropped bombs on the dikes that protected an island in southern Holland, flooding towns and leaving residents devastated. Among those towns was the tiny village of Souburg.

Hudson came to the rescue.

After the 1944 bombing of the dikes protecting the village of Souburg, the Netherlands, homes and buildings were completely inundated, including the village’s Catholic church.

Hudson Heritage Association’s October meeting will feature a presentation from longtime Hudson resident Molly Logan, who will tell the remarkable story of how a unique connection between Souburg and Western Reserve Academy inspired Hudson residents to organize and launch a community-wide effort to provide aid and relief to the tiny village across the ocean.

The program will be Thursday, October 11, 2018, at 7:30 p.m. at Hudson’s Barlow Community Center, 41 South Oviatt Street.

In the 1920s, Western Reserve Academy historian Helen Kitzmiller discovered that the bell in WRA’s Chapel had been cast in a foundry in Souburg in 1611. Upon hearing of the disaster in the Dutch village in 1944, Hudson residents came together to host events – clothing drives, dinners, teas, a play, dance and bazaar – to raise funds for effort. Hundreds of CARE packages were sent from Hudson to the Netherlands.

Souburg, which was incorporated into the city Vlissingen in the 1960s, still has a street, Hudsonstraat, that honors the humanitarian effort and generosity of Hudson’s residents.

“It’s important for Hudson residents of today to learn about and celebrate the righteous deeds of our forefathers, whether it was working to end slavery or coming to the rescue of a suffering village in Holland,” said Don Husat, Hudson Heritage Association co-president.

The children of Hudson eagerly joined the aid and relief effort for the people of Souburg, Holland. Many, like these young residents in 1948, collected clothing and helped with events to raise funds for the suffering village.

“Our compassion and sense of community in Hudson are just as unique and inspiring as our town’s historic buildings and architecture,” he added. “Hudson Heritage Association is grateful to be able to showcase this story. This is a must-see presentation.”

The program will include many rarely seen photos and memories of the Souburg relief effort that were collected by and memorialized into a scrapbook by WRA’s Kitzmiller.

What: HHA’s October meeting: “How Hudson Helped Save a Village In Holland”
When: 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, 2018
Where: Barlow Community Center, 41 South Oviatt Street, Hudson.
Who: Everyone. This program is free and open to the public.