Paesi Bassi / Storia

Going into hiding at the Prangsma farm in Mossel



Indicazioni stradali

In September 1944, the entire southern Veluwezoom had to evacuate. Mossel, located in the Planken Wambuis nature reserve, was the only place allowed to remain inhabited. With around 53 evacuees, it was quite crowded. Refugees found a safe haven at the Prangsma farm.

Former reserve officer Garrit Memelink lives with his wife in Arnhem, but in September 1944, he is staying with his parents in Hoenderloo. He is active in the resistance with the Ordedienst and, from 1944, with the Binnenlandse Strijdkrachten (BS). On September 17, 1944, he hears about the airborne landings at Renkum and Wolfheze and attempts to reach the Allies. For this purpose, he travels from Nieuw-Reemst to Mossel, the Prangsma farm:

"I remembered that I still knew the farmer of Mossel, Prangsma, and that seemed like a good point to head for. Besides, it was already getting towards evening. Prangsma received me hospitably in the bakehouse, where two escaped Dutch SS men were telling grim stories. I considered taking them out with their guns, which were outside, but I didn't. Out of fear? I slept in the hayloft."

After a restless night on the farm, Garrit sees the airborne landing on the Ginkelse Heide the next afternoon from Planken Wambuis: "To my great surprise, paratroopers jumped out of the countless low-flying American Dakotas. Not knowing that I was witnessing the largest airborne operation of all time, I really couldn't believe my eyes and ears, and I've never seen anything like it again. So many people! A colorful spectacle of different types of parachutes in an enormous quantity. And masses of equipment like folding bicycles, stretchers, and motorcycles, as small as toys..."

During the war years, Mossel is also dangerous. The Germans have a new secret weapon: the V-1. This so-called V-weapon is an abbreviation of the German name Vergeltungswaffen and is also the world's first unmanned jet aircraft. Because of the explosive payload, the V-1 (and later also the V-2) was also called a 'flying bomb'. From December 1944, the Germans launch V-1 rockets from Overijssel towards targets such as the port city of Antwerp. The route of these projectiles passes over Mossel. Due to a defect, a V-1 crashes near Mossel in one of the beech avenues and explodes.

After the lost battle, Arnhem was evacuated, and Garrit and his wife went to live with his parents. There, they witnessed the liberation by the Canadians. On April 12, 1945, the Allies cross the IJssel near Westervoort and begin their advance over the Veluwe. In the night of April 15 to 16, 1945, Canadian tanks move from Deelen via Mossel to Lunteren. The liberation of Mossel is a fact.