The Velserbeek country estate consists of a landscaped park in the romantic style. It was city property and open to the public since before the war. A popular hotel was operated from the main house. Mayor and staunch member of the NSB party Tj. van der Weide resided here from 1942 onward. The Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging, the Dutch National Socialist Movement, a fascist political party and the only one tolerated by the occupiers, collaborated with the Germans. The name NSB appears frequently on this web site, in regard to official correspondence and public announcements on forced evacuation and demolition in connection with the construction of the Atlantic Wall. The story goes that Van der Weide was so hated, that he had his walking route from Velserbeek to the nearby town hall in the village of Velsen-South protected with barbed wire, as a precaution against possible assault.
In late 1944, Velserbeek was drawn into the war: as a storage facility for one of Hitler’s last secret weapons, the “Seehund” [Seal]. This was a two-seater submarine designed to spread death and destruction among the Allies. It was not uncommon for “Seehunde” to hit their targets, but when they did, the crew rarely survived the operation. The Seehunde were made combat-ready under the leafy trees of Velserbeek’s Lindenlaan and subsequently transported on covered trailers to the Zuidersluis lock and the Hoogoven harbor in IJmuiden.