Noordoostpolder is a very special area. It was created in waters which ten years prior to falling dry still had been part of the sea. But even the sea had not always been here. Before the Zuiderzee existed there was land here and people lived on it. Schokland was one of the last remainders of that land. Just before it vanished completely it was included in the impoldering works. Today it can be seen rising as an old island above the young polder land.
The begin of the land reclamation works coincided with Word War II. Many of the thousands of workers (the North-East polder in biggest part was cultivated manually) were here for a special reason: They tried to evade the Arbeitseinsatz, the forced labour in Germany. Or they wanted to hide from the occupying forces and they did so in the labyrinth of water reed into which the Germans for a long time did not dare to follow them.
Others again had a different motivation still for contributing to the impoldering works: They hoped to thereby improve their chances for own farmland or for regular work. During colonisation, free settlements were not an option. The new inhabitants of the polder were carefully selected by a strict procedure.
Whoever made it though that selection found a living area which had completely been created at the drawing tables: Straight roads and canals and villages positioned in more or less equal distances to each other, all grouped around Emmeloord, the main village of the North-East polder municipality. And also inside those villages nothing was left at chance. This kind of idyllic, pre-industrial village architecture led to a reaction at Nagele. Not that any drawing table would have played a major role here, quite the contrary. An entire village was planned according to the guidelines of 'het Nieuwe Bouwen', the 'new building style'.
Much has changed throughout the years. But to this day historical traces can still be found in the North-East polder. Their origin might be lost in the mists of time, however. Not everyone might know, for instance, why there is a village at the southern part of the polder featuring flat roofs, lots of right angles and centrally situated open spaces. And few may know why, a bit further from that village towards East, still in the same polder, a sea wall and a port can be found which meanwhile have fallen dry. Also, not everyone will know about experiments with air planes and water ducts, done in an area which is still a bit further towards East. Or that the composition of the population itself actually is the result of a social experiment.
This and other specials can be found in the canon called "De Noordoostpolder"- The North-East polder. The canon adds specific local knowledge to the existing canons of The Netherlands and the province of Flevoland. Objective there is the same as with the other canons: The canon of De Noordoostpolder just like other canons describes what everyone should know about the history of this area. Because it contributes to our identity, to what we are. We are formed by our past. And that past is far more than a book which has been closed. It continues to impact everything what the North-East polder is, to this day.