The Big Flood of 1953 photographed > The picture as a symbol

Ed van Wijk made the picture of Mrs Zoeteman on 4 February 1953, when Mrs Zoeteman was on her way to Stavenisse. On 31 January she had set off with her husband for Voorne-Putten to visit family, and had subsequently awaited the course of events in various places.

On the photograph she is making the crossing from Halsteren to Tholen with her children by amphibious craft. She was therefore an indirect victim: she had not been saved from the flood, but was on her way to join her husband who, being a general practitioner, had gone to provide assistance.

Mrs Zoeteman's picture was published on the cover of the women's magazine Eva. Het rijk der vrouw (21 February 1953) under the title: 'Hour of Tribulation'. The photo also appeared in February on the cover of Paris Match (14-21 February 1953), and in 1959 it was published in Focus (25 July 1959). Because of its frequent publication, this photograph became the symbol of the disaster victims.

Examples from this collection The Big Flood of 1953 photographed

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