Where Fred was born
Fred was born at his parent's house in Oude-Schuttingskanaal, just outside the village of Roswinkel, in the north-east of Holland, a few kilometers from the German border. The area was previously a peat bog (veen), which was being cleared during the end of the 19th century and early 20th century. Fred's parents were peat workers who helped digging up the peat. A layer of peat was left on top of the prevailing sand to create perfect soil for growing potatoes and for keeping sheep and cattle. However, it was a bleak landscape, with not too many trees, just straight canals going between the fields for kilometer after kilometer. These photos give a small impression of this bleakness.