1944: Wekerom a place for people in hiding and refugees

In Wekerom, the Cooperative is a suitable hide out for the resistance. In September 1944, the Cooperative hides Herman Gerritsen from Ede in a cabin. There are many potato crates, and these are piled up in such a way that a shelter is created in the centre for Gerritsen. He stays there with only a bottle of water, a stack of sandwiches and a bucket as a toilet.

Radio Oranje
In another storage shed a make-shift hospital has been set up. In the basement of the Cooperative, a large proportion of the inventory of the Saint Elisabeth Hospital in Arnhem is stored there and, emergency bandages are made from sheets. There is also a radio in one of the cellars, where people can listen to Radio Oranje in the evenings. It broadcasts from London. The large continuous stream of evacuees is often an excellent cover for the people who are in hiding.

Soup kitchen
In another storage shed a make-shift hospital has been set up. In the basement of the Cooperative, a large proportion of the inventory of the Saint Elisabeth Hospital in Arnhem is stored there and, emergency bandages are made from sheets. There is also a radio in one of the cellars, where people can listen to Radio Orangeranje in the evenings. It broadcasts from London. The large continuous stream of evacuees is often an excellent cover for the people who are in hiding.

English bombs
Of course, there are also Germans in the village, and they have rented seven rooms in de Viersprong (now The White Horse), for their senior officers. The Pluim family has one room for themselves, and one for evacuees. On Saturday the 25th of November 1944, some German officers inform the director of the Cooperative, Mr Lenderink, that the front room must be heated properly, as, on Sunday morning, the Divisional Staff will meet there. However, there are no German officers to be seen. Instead, at around 9:30 a.m. 12 British bombers are flying over. The Germans left the hotel very early and, the evacuees have gone to the church. Twenty-one year old, Nel Pluim is washing when she hears the hotel creak. She exits the bathroom to find that half of her room is gone. The Pluim family have already fled to the basement. Nel follows swiftly, but she is only covered with a towel. Her mother does not approve and quickly covers her in an apron. Their neighbour Wouter van Beek takes her to his house where she dresses in his wife's clothes. They attempt to extinguish the burning house. The British bombers strike four times during that Sunday morning, and they release about 350 bombs on Wekerom, destroying the Cooperative as well as many houses. Three people lose their lives, and many are injured from the attack. 

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