Unfortunately the video settings restricts embedding on Earwigoagin, Click here to view the video.
After viewing this video several times, thinking about it and researching, I've come to the conclusion this sailing regatta video offers up so many layers of meaning and so many unanswered questions, it ranks as the most fascinating sailing video I've viewed
My first viewings of this video took in the pastoral beauty, the windmills, the myriad of, now traditional, Dutch classes heeling gracefully as they race their way up the small fingers formed by the dike systems, the spectators dining at the water's edge, the formal race committee attire, the pretty women walking the dock, ogled by young sailors. People are having fun, which is the whole point of a sailing week. The soundtrack of wistful swing tunes from that era adds to this period piece.
It was then I realized that the 1940 Kaagweek took place two months after the Nazi's had overrun Holland. This Kaagweek was taking place in occupied Holland. Kaag looks to be about 15 km. from Rotterdam and during the invasion, the Nazi Luftwaffe had completely leveled the center of Rotterdam.
The 1940 Kaagweek must have been held with the Nazi's approval. The question becomes whether this video was put together as Nazi propaganda to show that "normalcy" had returned to occupied Holland, or whether it was filmed surreptitiously as a home movie by a Dutch videographer. The production values suggests it may have been Nazi propaganda. Of note is at the 8:21 mark of the video, there is a stern-faced spectator wearing the Jewish star.
Reader WaveDancer disagrees with my assessment that the video was Nazi propaganda. I've dragged his comment over to the main post:
"I doubt that this video was German propaganda. After the surrender of The Netherlands, it took some time for the German occupation to show its true Nazi colors. PS: Whereas de Kaag is definitely in Holland, Sneek is not! The country should be referred to as The Netherlands. Wavedancer (who was born there, just around that time)"
Wikipedia states that 205,000 civilians would die in the occupation of Holland with 1/2 of that number being Dutch Jews who died in the Holocaust. Many of those young sailors shown in the video would be forced to labor in German factories during the war. I'm not sure how many sailing regattas were still held in Western Europe during the summer of 1940 but by 1941, sailboat racing had ceased (with the exception of the Nantais Moth, which the Nazis and the French Vichy government allowed to be built during the war).
July 10, 2015 also marks the 75th anniversary of beginning of the Battle of Britain, the approximate 2 month air battle where the Nazi Luftwaffe came within a sliver of destroying the British RAF. That the Nazi's didn't break the RAF would mark one of the turning points of World War II. Goering and the Luftwaffe would then turn in September of 1940 to bombing the British cities in an attempt to force capitulation.
One of the mysteries of my life is how my loving mother, with her parents and siblings, endured the chaos, death, and destruction of the London blitz, and later the V-1 doodlebug, and V-2 rocket attacks. I never detected any true bitterness from her. She still maintains the attitude of always looking forward, never looking back - probably a residue of that British "stiff upper lip". The courage it took to maintain day-to-day living under such conditions still amazes me.