On Thursday, 23 November 1944, a large number of flares were dropped by Allied planes above the buildings of the Cooperative building. Was this the start of a bombing raid? Luckily, nothing more happened that evening…
Two days later, on Saturday, 25 November, a group of German officers appeared at the front door of the home of the L. Lenderink family on Lage Valkseweg. Lenderink was the manager of the Harskamp Cooperative Purchasing Association in Wekerom.
The Germans ordered that the house’s front room should be cleared out, a table with chairs should be set up and the room should be heated. The next day at around 10 am, they said, a staff meeting with high-ranking German officers would take place. As the Germans departed they left chalk markings on the house’s outside wall.
In addition, Mr A. Pluim, owner of the nearby Hotel De Viersprong, was ordered to make available seven rooms and the lounge of the hotel bar.
No German staff meeting took place that Sunday. However, at around 10 am, 44 Typhoons of the Royal Air Force appeared on the scene and carried out a heavy attack on Lenderink’s house, the buildings of the Cooperative and Hotel De Viersprong.
A total of four attack waves passed over the location, with intervals of around 15 minutes between each one. The buildings were bombarded with rockets and phosphorous bombs. The damage was enormous! The manager’s house, the Cooperative buildings and the hotel, including Pluim’s shop and flat, were totally destroyed. Other buildings in the close vicinity also suffered heavy damage.
It transpired later that three people had been killed, two men and a woman. The woman’s name was never discovered. The seriously wounded included the local policeman H. Peters van Nijenhof, the smith E.J. Elbertsen and Dr Folkema Blau. A number of people also suffered lighter wounds.
Do you want to experience this story in its original location? Then visit the information panel in Wekerom, at the northeast corner of the roundabout.