1940 - 1945: German troops in Ede's barracks
In the early years of the Second World War, Ede suddenly became the front. On the east side of Ede, Dutch Hussars and armoured vehicles battled the Germans in order to slow them down in their advance toward the main defence, the Grebbe line. After Germany captured Ede on 10 May, the battle continued in De Klomp. The municipality of Ede was on the front line, and the villages of Ede and Lunteren were hit by shelling.
The Dutch army capitulated on 14 May. At the time, Ede had seven barracks complexes, built between 1906 and 1940. By 12 May, the Ortskommandatur(local headquarters) and the Waffen-SShad already occupied these barracks. The newest of these barracks, the Simon Stevin barracks, was renamed ‘Langenberg Kaserne’, together with the Elias Beeckman barracks. Some glass still had to be installed in the Simon Stevin barracks, and the painting was not quite finished, but the German SS troops were the first residents.
There was no heating. The Germans had a simple solution for that, too; they ordered the Dutch Engineering Corps to see to it that heating was installed by 1 October. A Dutch stoker was assigned. The Ortskammandaturestablished itself in the artillery barracks, which were renamed ‘Bismarck Kaserne’. The Kriegsmarine(Nazi Germany's navy) also set up operations in Ede. The Johan Willem Friso and Mauritskazerne barracks were renamed ‘Kommodore Bonte Kaserne'. German sailors were trained here.
Why exactly were military camps and barracks set up in Ede?
After the introduction of compulsory military conscription in 1901, various military camps and barracks arose in the vast Veluwe region. The Veluwe was appealing because of the cheap land prices, the low population density (limited nuisance), the accessibility via the existing roads and railroads and most of all the proximity of the extensive training grounds.More about Ede's barracks