May 1945: Food transports from the ENKA terrain

On the 17th of April, 1945 Ede was liberated and on the 4th of May, Germany surrendered on the Lünerburger Heath. In Wageningen, the surrender documents are signed on the 5th of May. The advance of the Allies halts after the liberation of Ede because there is something that has a higher priority.

Hunger Winter 
In 1944, the south of the Netherlands was liberated, but the anguish of war in the north is becoming more critical, this is due to the ongoing German occupation. In the agglomerated cities (Randstad), the railway strike, and the severe winter caused great shortages of food and fuel. Especially in the big cities, the situation is dire during this 'hunger winter': there are already 17,000 victims. Something urgently needs to be done, and the Dutch government in London is urging the Allies to organise aid before the general liberation and not only afterwards.

Achterveld's agreement
On the 25th of April, General Eisenhouwer agrees to a conference, and the Allied advance is halted for the time being. Meanwhile, the Canadian's advance has made its way into Achterveld. The Sint Jozef school turns out to be a suitable location, as it is strategically situated between the lines. The Germans have entrenched themselves a few kilometres westwards, behind the Grebbelinie. At the end of April 1945, the first talks between the German occupiers and the Allies took place in Achterveld. This made it possible to get the food supply for the agglomerated cities, where more than 4 million people suffered from hunger. The details were established in the Achterveld Agreement. The number of food transport flights is increasing. As early as the 1st of May, 900 planes dropped food at ten different places in the western provinces. The 'Manna' food drop operation lasts a week.

Operation Faust
After the liberation of Ede, the ENKA terrain was supplied immediately with food parcels: biscuits, tinned meat, fats, condensed milk, sugar and salt. The ENKA terrain became the headquarters and main depot for the transport of food by road, to the occupied western part of our country; Operation Faust. Operation Faust will be carried out by two hundred British and Canadian trucks. The first transport will take place on the 2nd of May. During this transport besides food and coal, medicines are also transported. The drivers transport the trucks from the warehouses to a transhipment along the Wageningse Nude Road near the Grebbesluis in Rhenen. There the food will be unloaded and transported further by civilians in Rhenen and Utrecht to the agglomerated cities where it will be distributed among the starving inhabitants. 

Memories of war locations