Today I was alert to the reside all-morning advertisement of celebrations in Wageningen, the Netherlands, commemorating Victory in Europe – accepted as VE Day. May 5th, 1945 was the day that Canadian armament stormed and defeated the Nazi troops on the heather amplitude amid the abutting towns of Ede and Wageningen. It was actual affecting for me to watch this for several reasons. The Lord reminded me of how he brought about one amazing accompaniment afterwards the added apropos my ancestors during the war!
Born in 1940, I grew up in the Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao, beside the bigger accepted sister island of Aruba. I do not bethink abundant about the war except that at night no lights were lit. My father, who was in allegation of the Home Defence League, explained that this was so that the adversary planes and boats would not ascertain the island. Of advance I could not accept any of that at the time.
Approximately 20 years later, my aboriginal job happened to be at the Department of National Defence annex in Prescott, Ontario, Canada. As a absolutely abrupt accompaniment would accept it, Mr. J. Sidney Barrick, the Director (I do not bethink his exact title) told me how he had adequate me and my ancestors during the war! OMG, I just googled, and begin out that he was on the minesweeper: HMCS Suderoy VI – J05! If he apparent that I had lived in Curacao, Mr. Barrick told me that if he was in the Navy during the war, they patrolled all about Curacao and Aruba watching for, and torpedoing German u-boats that approved to cut off aliment to the islands. What are the affairs that I would anytime accept met one of the crew, and begin out about this fact!
Not abundant grows on these islands as they are bouldered with actual little rain fall. Truly, we could accept fatigued if it weren’t for the Canadian Forces! I was so afraid to apprehend that the war came that far – acutely out of the way of area the angry was, or that the Germans would even affliction about tiny islands like ours! I do bethink my mother cogent me that we ate a lot of rice and spinach. I aswell bethink dancing in the artery with music and amusement everywhere and humans shouting: “the war is over; we are free!” Again it was packing time. My mother beatific abounding boxes of canned food, soap and added aliment to ancestors associates in Holland.
Meanwhile, in Holland – it was not yet alleged The Netherlands at that time – my auntie Ann and grandmother assuredly alternate to their affiliated home in Ede, which had been active by Nazi commanders. It was anchored in a cardinal area overlooking a little esplanade which connected into a artery culminating at the alley bond Ede and Wageningen. At the top of that alley still are the admirable heather fields area the allies landed, and for weeks on end connected to “rain” down accoutrements of aliment and provision. Is it a accompaniment that the Germans, 5 years afterwards demography over the house, would in fact see their enemies dive down on them? I don’t know, but would not be afraid that the administrator in Auntie Ann’s home was by accompaniment ability be the actual one who active the acceding to end the war at Hotel De Wereld down the artery in Wageningen – as I saw on the reportage this morning!
Our ancestors spent six months in Holland in 1946, and afresh in 1951. Although I was affected to the amount seeing all of the city-limits and anchorage of Rotterdam in absolute ruins, as able-bodied as abounding added ravages, I alone bethink how anybody was happy, warm-hearted and jovial. Virtually no one batten about the war and what they had suffered. Alone years afterwards a accessory told me how the Nazis had taken over their acreage and collapsed all their livestock for their own consumption, while they were craving to the point that they ate rats to survive! In academy I apprehend and heard of how abounding Dutch humans hid their Jewish neighbours and friends. I was abnormally addled by this adulation and apathy for their own assurance if I visited the Anne Frank home in Amsterdam, and heard about Corrie ten Boom’s family’s beat to the Jewish association and consecutive imprisonment themselves.
Auntie Ann told me the adventure of how a adolescent German soldier al of a sudden affective her bike from her. She in fact had tears in her eyes as she related: “ach, he was so actual young; he could not accept been added than 16!” This was abreast the end of the war, if they enlisted even the actual young. She absolutely acquainted apologetic for the teen, who had been so misdirected and alone abject orders.
It was some time afterwards VE day – at which time the war was still angry in Japan and the East – that my mother’s brother and ancestors alternate to Holland. They had been active in Indonesia – which was again the Dutch East Indies. We apperceive that they had been interred in a Japanese absorption camp. From history and books I accept read, I apperceive that altitude in these camps were atrocious. However, even if prodded, they banned to anytime say one chat about what they had endured. They were consistently actual affable and balmy at heart.
Talking about coincidences, I can’t but be afraid that the allies landed on “my” admired heather. I just admired traveling there, and smelling the ablaze amethyst flowers. It is like something admirable has covered the affliction and accident – somewhat like the poppies in Flanders’ Fields not far abroad in neighbouring Belgium. If talking with a attend on the heather in Ede on one of my trips, I apparent that, if it were not for the sheep agriculture there, the heather would overgrow into annoying bushes! It paints a admirable account of sheep – the attribute of accord and abasement – appropriately afterward the shepherd, accidentally allowance to restore and advance adorableness and dignity!
Holland was beat by the Nazis after any admonishing in one anniversary in 1940. But, in one fell dive on May 5, 1945 their bondage was chaotic – I am appreciative to say – by the Canadian forces. Was it a accompaniment that Queen Juliana chose Canada as her anchorage from the storm? Thank you, Canada, and absolve you, The Netherlands!
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in blooming pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul” (Ps. 23: 1-3)