Achterveld 6 april 2019: Today I went to the general meeting of the Documentation Group '40-'45 held at the new location, in the St Joseph School in Achterveld. A historic location, because it was here in April 1945 that the food conference took place in the presence of Prince Bernhard. This was also the start of the capitulation talks on 5 May 1945 in Wageningen. At that time, a school was located in the building. Today it is a meeting centre, called De Moespot.
The food conference at Achterveld
The Achterveld Agreement (also known as the Food Conference of Achterveld) was an agreement concluded in Achterveld on 28 and 30 April 1945 between the Allies and the occupying German authorities for food aid to the western Netherlands because of the winter of hunger. The secondary goal of the meeting was to persuade the Allies to capitulate the Germans. The Agreement therefore formed the prelude to the capitulation meeting in Wageningen.

De St.-Josephschool where the talks were held

The highest Allied generals from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Russia and the Netherlands took part in the negotiations. It led to the establishment and implementation of Operation Manna and Chowhound, the name the Allies chose for the food drops and Operation Faust, for food transport by road.

The German delegation

The Western part of Holland was cut off from energy and food during the hunger winter. Foreign aid was provided via sea transport by providing Swedish flour to bakeries as Swedish white bread. However, distribution was difficult. The Allies therefore wanted droppings by plane, and also supplies by ship and lorry. This led to extensive discussions at the official level, especially in The Hague, between senior Germans, including Governor Seyss-Inquart, Generalsekretär Wimmer and, among others, the College of Trustees, such as Willem Drees, who were in direct contact with the Dutch government in London. Eventually, the Allies and Germans agreed that a meeting would be held close to the front line behind Amersfoort, which became the village of Achterveld. It was two days: on Saturday 28 and Monday 30 April 1945. Negotiations took place in the former St.-Josephschool on the Jan van Arkelweg 6 in the gymnasium and subcommittees in various classrooms.

Delegation at The Moespot

German delegation

The German General Schwebel and a German civil servant took part in the preparatory meeting on Saturday 28 April. On Monday 30 April Seyss-Inquart met the generals Schwebel and Reichelt (chief of staff of the German military commander over occupied Netherlands general Blaskowitz), general commissioner Friedrich Wimmer and official Liese (of the Liese-Aktion) arrived.


The attendees

The arrival of Prince Bernhard. To the great annoyance of the Reichs commissioner Seyss-Inquart, he drove in the Mercedes, which had been confiscated by the resistance and which had belonged to him.
Dutch delegation

The Dutch government in London represented seven senior Dutch civil servants, including trustee Gaag and Neher, Secretary-General Hans Hirschfeld and the senior official Louwes, who dealt with food distribution. Prince Bernhard also took part.

On arrival in Achterveld, Prince Bernhard is offered flowers on the occasion of the birthday of his wife Princess Juliana. He was so busy that he had forgotten his wife's birthday!
Allied delegation

The Allied delegation consisted of representatives from England, Canada and Russia (!). I find the latter a bit odd, because the United States was not there either. For Canada there were, among others, the commander-in-chief of the Canadian First Army Harry Crerar and lieutenant-general Charles Foulkes.


Transport of food on 2 mei 1945 on the way from Rhenen to Western Holland

28 april 1945

On 28 april 1945 there was a discussion about the food transports.
Seyss-Inquart wanted to refrain from destruction, executions and inundations in the west of the Netherlands and to allow food drops, provided that the Allies would not attack the Randstad. The Allies certainly wanted to comply, because they had always objected to a military conquest of the Randstad because of the civilian casualties that it would cost. Through the Dutch government and especially Prime Minister Gerbrandy more and more pressure had been put on Churchill to alleviate the Dutch famine. Churchill supported this and passed on an urgent request to the allied commander-in-chief, General Eisenhower, who passed it on to General Bedell Smith.

It was not only agreed that extended food transports would take place, but also that arrangements were made to open up the entire airspace above the Netherlands and to free up the Nieuwe Waterweg and the waterway via Dordrecht and that from the then neutralized Rhenen, 1000 tons of food would be delivered by road per day. The relative weight of the Allied delegation was meant to regulate the capitulation immediately, which however was not entirely successful.

30 april 1945

On 30 april 1945 the Allies insisted on capitulation.
Bedell Smith became angry at Seyss-Inquart during the negotiations when he was stubborn. He said when Seyss-Inquart did not want to talk about a Dutch capitulation: "And if your stubbornness causes you even more loss of life among allied troops or Dutch citizens, you will have to suffer your punishment and you know what that will mean: you will be hanged". "I don't care," Seyss-Inquart said. "It will," said Bedell Smith. After the consultation, General Schwebel tried to persuade Seyss-Inquart outside Seyss-Inquart to go into the negotiations about capitulation, and went back to Bedell Smith, who was sympathetic to it.

As commander of the Interior Armed Forces, Prince Bernhard wanted Bedell Smith to discuss with the Germans the release of Dutch political prisoners, but Bedell Smith did not want that, because he wanted to talk about a general capitulation with the Germans. The prince received flowers for Princess Juliana upon arrival at the school. "It has been the first time since 1936 that I have forgotten my wife's birthday, because we were so full of what we had to do that my officers and I didn't think about it. The prince brought slippers of cigarettes and a bottle of gin, which he distributed to the Dutch delegation members. The Protocols of Achterveld were signed on Tuesday 1 May 1945 in Achterveld by the Germans and the British. The Dutch did not sign in protest about the lack of capitulation. On 2 May a third meeting between the parties took place, this time in Wageningen, where the Achtererveld Agreement was ratified.

Three days later, on 5 May 1945, the capitulation meeting took place in Wageningen at Hotel De Wereld. The actual  capitulation was signed the next day, May 6, 1945 in the auditorium of the Agricultural College in Wageningen.De feitelijke werd getekend de volgende dag 6 mei 1945 in de aula van de Landbouw Hogeschool te Wageningen.

Op 5 mei 2015 werd door de NOS "De Meidagen van 1945" uitgezonden, waarin de turbulente dagen van de Duitse capitulatie in mei 1945 uitvoerig werd besproken.

Beelden voedselconferentie Achterveld
Generaal Bedell Smith en Prins Bernard in Achterveld
General Meeting Documentatiegroep '40-'45

The association has a large financial surplus and that makes me wish for another orientation day. The monthly magazine Terugblik '40-'45 has a colour layout and that is very nice. Printing the magazine in colour is possible at a lower cost than the black and white editions before. There were also collection ordners for the magazine. At the raffle a book with propaganda posters was brought along. During the war they also had those colourful posters with catchy texts. Both the Germans and the Allies could do something about it. I had no other prizes this time. Another time I hope better than that.

The tickets are drawn

Selecting nice prices

Eric Heijink gave a lecture about the consequences of the liquidation of a wrong policeman from Enschede.
Lecture about the Enschede police officer Pieter Kaay
After lunch Eric Heijink gave a lecture about the consequences of the liquidation of a wrong policeman from Enschede. On the morning of 3 July 1943, the Enschede police officer Pieter Kaay was liquidated when he went to work by bike. Kaay had only been working in Enschede for a few months at that time, but soon became notorious as a Jewish hunter and his hunt for resistance fighters. In retaliation for the murder of Kaay, a group of 24 police officers of the Enschede corps was arrested and taken to Germany, by personal order of Rauter. Eric Heijtink investigated who these policemen were and why they were taken away. He made it clear to us that this group of policemen were prisoners of war after the capitulation in May 1940, but were faced with the choice of working in Germany or going into police service by the German occupier. They had chosen the latter. But now the Höhere SS und Polizeiführer Rauter decided that this group were still prisoners of war and had to go to a prisoner of war camp in Germany. The 24 men were first transported to the camp in Amersfoort, after which they were further transported to the camp, near Mühlberg on the Elbe, on 10 July.

The liquidated policeman Pieter Kaay. Because of his hunt for Jews and resistance fighters, he had become of great importance to the resistance in order to eliminate


The funeral of Pieter Kaay