September 1944: Representative farm ‘De Harscamp’, from the Kröller-Müller family
During the Second World War, representative farm 'De Harscamp' is located on the outskirts of the village of Harskamp. It is owned by Helena Brückmann-Kröller, daughter of the founder of the Kröller-Müller Museum and is managed by the Heath Society. The farm has two huge stables that were spacious for that time: there is room for 120 cows.
Dozens of friars end up here at the end of September 1944, after their evacuation from Oosterbeek. Together with many others, they stay on this exemplary farm until the liberation. Initially, the number of residents fluctuates at around 50 people, and a unique company is formed. Farmers and agricultural labourers, boys of the educational institution Hoenderloo, Jewish people in hiding, Catholic monks and professors of the Agricultural College Wageningen are convicted here together. That is not always a voluntary choice. After some time, an increasing number of people come forward who are primarily looking for food, and a soup kitchen is set up to feed more than 500 mouths every day.
The friars are cooking. The cooking pots came from the military town of Harskamp, where there were few Germans left. They ride along the Brutaal Road by horse and cart: loading the carts and driving away. They take items without asking, as asking will only give them the answer no.
They also have to look for crockery, such as plates and cups, as well as cutlery, such as, spoons and forks. On the first day they already collect enough from individuals in Harskamp and Otterlo. Wood for the large cooking pots is chopped and sawn into pieces. Women and children peel potatoes, and on the first day, there is endive stew on the table. A few of the friars pick fruit, which is in abundance in the orchard on the farm.
In October everything at De Harscamp follows a regular schedule. The men harvest potatoes, saw and chop wood and about thirty ladies peel potatoes using the saying: 'he who wants to eat, shouldn't forget to peel'. It's not always easy, of course, mothers miss their homes and their children, and men see their good suits and shoes become worn as a result of the hard work. But merriment helps as on Sunday the 16th of October, 1944 during the evening the Harskamp song is introduced.
The Harskamp song goes like this
Hier zond ons God
Vinden we ons lot
En ook zijn Hand
Voert ons terug naar de Veluwerand
Here God sent us, Do we find our destiny, And also his Hand, Leads us back to the Veluwerand