Holland and the Rhinelands, May 1945
HOLLAND: Churchill announced end of war at 3p.m. SHAEF order out barring correspondents beyond certain line – Queen Wilhelmina doesn’t want political trouble between S.S., Underground, N.M.A. and people who have been in Holland throughout occupation.
Young boys tramping roads with baggage slung on their bags. Relief unit tells of child of 7 on road alone, in search of food. All winter people roamed country looking for food. Magpies in fields. Arnhem bridges crumpled, confusion of new pontoon bridging, battered town on rise behind. Between Elst and Arnhem, country untidy battle mess, stinking animals in the fields.
Collaborators with red spot on the back, tended by young Dutch underground soldiers, do all the heavy work, given no food. Voluntary helpers given rations in exchange. A PORTFOLIO OF DRAWINGS OF HOLLAND WENT MISSING ON THE TRANSFER FROM UTRECHT TO BRUSSELS 18th My 1945 and was never recovered.
Out searching for pictures of refugees on the road. Families trying to go home. Released soldiers, farmers, tramping with heavy packs. Families, thick shabby clothes, children piled on baggage on miniature wagons, pulling and pushing. Principally women. To Coblenz, past P.O.W camps, teeming with men and tents and shanties. Grey forest of stumps. Coblenz v badly destroyed, bridges on Rhine and Moselle blown, but replaced, pontoon bridges and ferry over the Rhine.