Englandspiel-monument (De val van Icarus)
brons / steenachtig
Hogeweg, Den Haag
52.09863872625, 4.2877891259468 View on map
It often doesn't happen. That free work is purchased for a monument that has yet to be realised. The Englandspiel monument on the Hogeweg in the Scheveningse Bosjes, with 'The Fall of Icarus' by sculptor Titus Leeser at its centre, was realised in this way.
The ideas for the sculpture came about during the Second World War. Leeser heard Allied planes flying over at night. My heart was with the boys, who were green with fear, but who had to carry on,' he recounted in the NRC newspaper of 17 March 1980. In his mind he saw them crashing. Leeser could not let go of it. In 1972, he made 'The Fall of Icarus' for all fallen Allied airmen. Leeser exhibited the sculpture, after which it was purchased as an Englandspiel monument, which Princess Juliana unveiled in 1980.
On top of the memorial stone stands Icarus, one wing raised in a dramatic gesture: a figurative sculpture with strong expressive content. Although he made many sculptures in a similar style, Leeser thought this was his best. He chose the figure of Icarus because of the motif of the fatal flight and not because of the moral of the tragedy - pride comes before a fall.
After all, there was no such thing as pride in the pilots that Leeser honoured with his sculpture. And the policemen who fell victim to the so-called Englandspiel were certainly not reckless daredevils either. The brave men and a woman thought they were protected by secret radio codes. Unfortunately, they fell into German hands immediately after their dropping in the Netherlands. The Germans had managed to crack the codes and passed on misleading messages to the British. Of all 59 agents involved, only five survived the war.
They jumped in death for our freedom
In grateful memory of the 54 Dutch agents and all those who fell in the intelligence work'.