The years 1940-1945 were very difficult for the mill. Frans Michels, the oldest miller's son, at night clandestinely ground the flour for the people in hiding and others who could not get out with distribution coupons. He also accommodated about 80 people in hiding in the mill and warned of an imminent raid by putting the mill sails in the "unsafe" position. On 16 October 1944 Merselo was liberated. Unfortunately Frans was not able to enjoy his freedom for long. During a reconnaissance he was hit by enemy fire. Albert, a brother of Frans, was then faced with the task of continuing the business under the leadership of his father. During an autumn storm in November 1975, the mill went berserk and much was destroyed. With much effort by the fire department, the mill was brought to a standstill but part of the 'vang' was burned and the fence and the plates were half gone. For years the mill looked bare but the inevitable came. At the end of the seventies the first plans were made to save the mill. Yet there was no action. Until Johan Zegers established a foundation in 1982 and applied for a subsidy for the entire restoration of the mill. In 1987 the mill was sold to the Nooit Gedacht Foundation for a symbolic amount. Through the efforts and perseverance of this foundation, the mill was saved from destruction.
Photo: Paul Poels Photography