Rotterdam is a city in the Netherlands, located in South Holland, within the Rhine–Meuse–Scheldt river delta at the North Sea. Its history goes back to 1270 when a dam was constructed in the Rotte river by people settled around it for safety. The port of Rotterdam is the largest cargo port in Europe and the 10th largest in the world.
On 14 May 1940, Germany invaded the Netherlands by the aerial bombardment of the Luftwaffe (German air force). Even though preceding negotiations resulted in a ceasefire, the bombardment took place nonetheless, in conditions which remain controversial, and destroyed almost the entire historic city centre, killing nearly 900 people and making 85,000 others homeless. And the Dutch capitulated early the next morning.