Kranenburg, North Rhine-Westphalia

Kranenburg is a town and municipality in the district of Cleves in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. It is located near the border with the Netherlands, 12 kilometres (7 mi) south-east of Nijmegen and 11 kilometres (7 mi) west of Cleves.

Coat of arms of Kranenburg
Coat of arms
Location of Kranenburg within Kleve district
Emmerich am RheinKleve (district)North Rhine-WestphaliaViersen (district)KrefeldDuisburgWesel (district)Borken (district)NetherlandsWachtendonkKalkarGochKerkenStraelenRheurdtGeldernKranenburgReesBedburg-HauWeezeIssumKevelaerUedemKleveKranenburg in KLE.svg
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Kranenburg is located in Germany
Kranenburg is located in North Rhine-Westphalia
Coordinates: 51°47′23″N 6°0′26″E / 51.78972°N 6.00722°E / 51.78972; 6.00722Coordinates: 51°47′23″N 6°0′26″E / 51.78972°N 6.00722°E / 51.78972; 6.00722
StateNorth Rhine-Westphalia
Admin. regionDüsseldorf
 • MayorGünter Steins (CDU)
 • Total76.96 km2 (29.71 sq mi)
21 m (69 ft)
 • Total10,719
 • Density140/km2 (360/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+01:00 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+02:00 (CEST)
Postal codes
Dialling codes0 28 26 und 0 28 21
Vehicle registrationKLE

Since 1992, Kranenburg has evolved into a commuter town for Nijmegen.[citation needed]

The village has always focused on the Dutch city of Nijmegen, and the local language was Dutch until far into the 19th century.[citation needed]

Towns and villages in the municipalityEdit


Middle AgesEdit

First records show that Kranenburg was founded in the 13th century by the Baron of Kleve. The first castle was built in 1270 and the first church a few years later by Dietrichs Luf von Kleve († 1277). In 1294, the village raised to the status of town. In 1308 "The Miraculous Cross" ("Wundertätigen Kreuzes“) was found, establishing Kranenburg as a place of pilgrimage. According to legend, a boy went into the forest after church and spat out his communion wafer. After a while he felt guilty and confessed to the pastor. Together they went back into the forest to find the wafer. At the tree where he had spat it out, the cross now stood.

In 1370, the county Land Kranenburg came into the possession of the von Kleve family line again, after it had been leased to Gerhard I knight, Lord of Horne and Weert, Lord of Perweys, Lord of Herlaer, and later his son, the bishop Dietrich. During this time the town got its first fortifications. At the end of the 15th century, a new castle, substantial stone fortifications with 2 gates and an unknown number of towers were erected. The southernmost of these towers acted as the town windmill (Stadtwindmühle). The town bloomed most prosperously during the first half of the 15th century, which resulted in the construction of the large, Gothic St. Peter und Paul church. In 1436, the St. Martins Priory was moved to Kranenburg from Zyfflich, followed in 1445/46 by the Augustinian women's nunnery Katharinenhof Kranenburg,[2] which was established in the Kranenburger Mühlenstraße as an axillary branch of the Klever Nunnery of Mount Sion (Schwesternhauses vom Berg Sion). After a fierce religious feud over the new prince bishop within the Münster Cathedral Chapter since 1450, the Kranenburger Treaty was signed in Kranenburg in 1457, assigning John II of Pfalz-Simmern as the new prince bishop.[3][4]

Early RenaissanceEdit

Multiple town fires and floods diminished the prosperity that Kranenburg had known during the Middle Ages. With the end of the hereditary lineage of the Duchy of Jülich-Kleve-Bergischen in 1609, county Kranenburg and the Duchy of Cleves became the property of lords of Brandenburg-Prussia. In 1675, Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg (16 February 1620 – 29 April 1688) gave Kranenburg to his personal physician, Arnold Fey. After his death in 1678, Kranenburg returned into the possession of the family of Brandenburg-Prussia. Around 1650, the "reformed congregation" of Kranenburg was founded, and got a small church in 1723. The historic town hall was destroyed completely by fire in 1789. In 1800, the then derelict town gates were demolished.

19th and 20th centuryEdit

During the Napoleonic Wars and subsequent French occupation, Kranenburg was a separate canton within the Roer département and temporary the most northern location of the Napoleonic Empire. At the same time, it however lost its town privileges. In 1802, the Order of St. Martin and the St. Catherine convent became secular. After the Vienna Convention, the counties of Kranenburg, Nütterden und Frasselt-Schottheide grounded the community (Bürgermeisterei) of Kranenburg. Later, in 1936, Grafwegen, that previously belonged to Kessel, was added to the administrative community of Kranenburg. Kranenburg remained a mainly agricultural community until far into the 20th century.

Kranenburg during World War IIEdit

8 February - 11 March 1945: Operations Veritable and Blockbuster (yellow) and Grenade (green)

During the winter of 1944 -1945, the town of Kranenburg found itself in the middle of heavy fighting. In the nearby Klever Reichswald and the surroundings of the nowadays village of Kranenburg, Operation Veritable, also known as the Battle of the Reichswald took place. Taking place from 8 February till 11 March 1945, Operation Veritable was a part of General Dwight Eisenhower's "broad front" strategy to occupy the west bank of the Rhine, before attempting any crossing, conquest of the Ruhrgebiet industrial area, and eventual push towards Berlin. Veritable was originally called Valediction and had been planned originally for execution in early January, 1945. One day after the start of Operation Veritable on the 8th, the Germans blew the gates out of the largest Roer dam, sending water surging down the valley. The next day they added to the flooding by doing the same to dams further up stream on the Roer and the Urft. The river rose at two feet an hour and the valley downstream to the Meuse stayed flooded for about two weeks.

Modern day KranenburgEdit

After the Second World War, the counties of Wyler and Zyfflich were added to the administrative community Kranenburg. After the 1st North Rhine Westphalia Communal Reformation Program (1. kommunalen Neugliederungsprogramm) of 1 July 1969, the country of Kranenburg existed out of the communities of:[5]

  • Kranenburg
  • Nütterden
  • Frasselt
  • Schottheide
  • Grafwegen
  • Mehr
  • Niel
  • Wyler
  • Zyfflich

At present day, the community of Kranenburg is a border town within a Europe "without borders". With the introduction the European Union and subsequent EU internal market without boundaries, many Dutch moved from the Netherlands to Kranenburg in Germany, attracted by economic motives, e.g. low real estate prices/ taxes. This resulted in a massive influx increase of more than 200% between 1992 and 2008, growing the total population of the small community dramatically. Although, German authorities suggest diplomatically to "steer" this influx by "handing out permits selectively", migration away from the area by its original German citizens, and "enclave formation" of "Dutch-only" clusters is already observed.[6] This, according to international publications of the Centre for Border Research (NCBR) of the nearby located University of Nijmegen, is mainly caused by the refusal of the Dutch migrants to integrate/ participate in German society.[7][8] Based on their observations, the investigators conclude that 100% of the life of these Dutch migrants lies across the border in the Netherlands, although their residence lies in Germany, solely out of financial motives. Hence, for example Dutch parents selectively send their children to Dutch schools, Dutch physicians and hospitals are visited, Dutch sporting and social organisations are joined, Dutch media are read, watched, and listened to. Many do not speak the German language, and don't make any effort to acquire German language skills. Illustratively, the Dutch are reported "to drive back to the Netherlands to buy a jar of peanut butter".[8]

In their conclusions, the authors observe that this refusal of the Dutch to integrate, participate, and contribute to their new German community contrasts strongly with the current Dutch public opinion,[9] political climate, or indeed legislation. The Dutch political climate, and the apparent support of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, was recently discussed and condemned by the European Union.[10][11] Dutch legislation, the Integration law for immigrants to the Netherlands Act obliges migrants entering the Netherlands to integrate into Dutch society.[12][13] To measure this, migrants are subjected to courses and a final exam, determining the migrants' ability to speak the Dutch language and general knowledge of Dutch society. Failure to pass the exam (e.g. inability to speak Dutch) results in expulsion. Participation in this exam is only required of non-EU nationals.[9][14][15] Although public sentiments and opinions vary considerably, as for the whole EEC territory, the German conditions of residence for non EU nationals are very similar to those in the Netherlands.[16]

Notable people from KranenburgEdit

Born in KranenburgEdit

Lived in KranenburgEdit


  1. ^ "Bevölkerung der Gemeinden Nordrhein-Westfalens am 31. Dezember 2019" (in German). Landesbetrieb Information und Technik NRW. Retrieved 17 June 2020.
  2. ^ List of Christian religious houses in North Rhine-Westphalia List of Christian religious houses in_North Rhine-Westphalia
  4. ^ de:Geschichte der Stadt Münster#Die Stiftsfehde 1450 bis 1457 Geschichte der Stadt Münster, Die Stiftsfehde 1450 bis 1457 (German)
  5. ^ M. Bünermann, Die Gemeinden des ersten Neugliederungsprogramms in Nordrhein-Westfalen, Köln, 1970, Deutscher Gemeindeverlag
  6. ^ Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL) - Wohnen jenseits der Grenze – Wohnmigration von Niederländern in die deutsche Grenzregion der EUREGIO - Simone Thiesing Archived 9 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Houtum, H. van; Gielis, R. (2006). "Elastic migration: the case of Dutch short-distance transmigrants to the borderlands of Belgium and Germany. In: TESG, Vol. 97, No. 2, pp. 191-198" (PDF).
  8. ^ a b Houtum, H. van en Gielis, R. (2006), Elastische migratie. Nederlandse migranten in de Duitse en Belgische grensgebieden, Geografie, jaargang 15, nummer 8, p. 24-2
  9. ^ a b SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany (22 September 2011). "Studentin in Ausländer-raus-Show: Mit Applaus zur Abschiebung". SPIEGEL ONLINE.
  10. ^ "Dutch PM refuses Europe call to disavow far-right website".
  11. ^ Dutch PM's 'dreadful silence' over anti-immigrant website, Joseph Daul, chairman European People's Party group, European Parliament, 20 March 2012 Archived 23 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  12. ^ "Immigratie, integratie en inburgering".
  13. ^ Dutch Governmental Program: "Het begint met taal" (It's Starts With Language) Archived 1 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  14. ^ "Login".
  15. ^ SPIEGEL ONLINE, Hamburg, Germany (24 January 2006). "Holland's New Greeting for Immigrants: 'If it Ain't Dutch, It Ain't Much'". SPIEGEL ONLINE.
  16. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 May 2012. Retrieved 3 April 2012. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link) CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)

External linksEdit

  Media related to Kranenburg at Wikimedia Commons