Van Landschoot

After the visit at the museum, we spent almost an hour chatting with the grand-daughter of Maurice Van Landschoot and his son Gilbert who not only own but run the museum.  Van Landschoot Family tree traces back over 1000 years.  They were predominantly masons and timber traders.   They were employed to provide their expertise in building a number of castles, palaces and cathedrals.  The family had in its service one hundred Teutonic Knights, most families had one, or two.  This is a well established family of merchants, builders but predominantly fighters.  The point to this story is not about the wealth, or their influence but their relentless fight to honour and recognize the effort of those who have died in WWII that saved not only this family but many others from the Nazi Occupation – the Canadian and Polish soldiers.  They are here telling their stories.  Gilbert van Landschoot is a passionate man, as is his daughter.  When they speak of Canadian and Polish soldiers they speak with passion and determination unequalled by anyone else I have ever met.  I dare say they would put most Canadian and Polish nationalist to shame, they are bigger promoters of Canadian and Polish WWII efforts than most government agencies put together.  These people really do owe their lives to these soldiers and they revere them and admire the sacrifice they made.  In these parts of Belgium being  Canadian or Polish is to be a hero, a liberator, a fighter,  being both is better than being  Superman himself.  In fact I could go around these parts of Belgium wearing a t-shirt that says I am a Polish Canadian what’s your superpower, and get away with it!  We loved this place and the people who run it tell stories of truth that was and should never be forgotten.  Respect..

 

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