Gerdien Versteeg and her family were on the brink of starvation, along with millions of other Dutch civilians, in the spring of 1945. Four years of German occupation and a bitter winter had used up all the food and fuel supplies; many had resorted to eating tulip bulbs. In April and May 1945, Operation Manna began to drop thousands of tons of food to the starving Dutch. Allied aircraft, which had once carried bombs over Gerdien's house, now dropped life-saving food parcels.
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