Previous Next


To the previous item on the timeline


To the next item on the timeline

1945 The winter of starvation takes its toll
Bethaniënstraat 2
City centre
Bethaniënstraat 2
City centre [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
Bethaniënstraat 2 © Maria Austria Instituut / Ad Windig

Nol Escher -‘You can get wood there’

‘Where the Amstel isn’t so wide, on the side where Carré is, but further into the city, there you can get wood. I have to go where the empty houses are. I take Ankie Bredevoort with me. Surprisingly there’s still a lot of wood left. The small hand cart with the jute sacks to cover the wood is on the corner of the street. Ankie can see both sides of the street and warn me if she sees anyone coming.

I go into the skeleton of this former house. You just go in through the empty windows. Wallpaper hangs from the walls and under the stairs there a pile of excrement. Human? Or a dogs? It stinks of urine. I get the saw from under my coat and start to saw the spindles from the side of the staircase. In the ceiling a beam has come down and I can see the sky. It’s a lovely beam, but how can I cut it up? I leave it. I carry the planks out. Ankie covers them up with the sacks. Another five or six pieces of wood from the stairs. Then we go back. Theres’ nobody on the street. It worked, we arrive home.’


Source: Extract from Nol Escher, Trompetten in de verte: een novelle, written by Emilie Escher, daughter of the author Nol Escher.

  • Print

Nol Escher

Nol Escher is eight years old when war breaks out. Because the coastal region is evacuated he moves from Bentveld, a village in the dunes near Zandvoort to Amsterdam. Christmas 1942 the Escher family move into a house where Jews had previously lived on the Noorder Amstellaan number 190. In June 1945 they move back to Bentveld.

More about this person More about this person

Also look at

1938 Many Jewish refugees after Kristallnacht

Many Jewish refugees flee to the Netherlands after Kristallnacht. Princess Juliana also feels connected to the Jewish community. But while more attention is drawn to the admittance of more Jews, NSB members threaten more intervention.

1940 Amsterdam occupied

Nothing changes too much for the Frank family in the beginning. Opekta moves to the Prinsengracht. During air raids bombs cause death and injury in Amsterdam.

1940  Amsterdam occupied

1941 Jews allowed to do and less

It starts with a cinema ban but rapidly Jews are banned from virtually all public places. Jewish children must attend separate schools. This also applies to Anne and Margot Frank.

1941  Jews allowed to do and less

1942 It becomes more dangerous for Jews

On her thirteenth birthday Anne Frank receives a diary. A few days later she writes about the situation in Amsterdam. The introduction of the Jewish star and the raids. In July the Frank family goes into hiding.

1942  It becomes more dangerous for Jews

1943 Deportations and attacks

While the Frank family is in hiding thousands of Jews are deported from Amsterdam. The resistance tries to hinder the deportations by attacks including one on the Public Registry. It doesn’t stop them.

1943  Deportations and attacks

1944 Discovered and arrested

On 4 August the people in hiding in the secret annex are discovered and arrested. From Westerbork they are taken to Auschwitz. When the Allies land in the south of the Netherlands there is hope that the country will be liberated. German soldiers and NSB members flee the country after Dolle Dinsdag (‘Mad Tuesday’).

1944  Discovered and arrested

1945 Joy and sadness

A celebration at the Dam on 7 May is ruined when people are killed after German soldiers shoot at the crowd. On 8 May Amsterdam is officially liberated. Otto Frank returns. He knows that Edith is dead. He only hears later that his two daughters have not survived.

1945  Joy and sadness

1946 Slowly the threads are picked up again

On 3 May 1946 the first official commemoration for those who died during the war is held. Anne Frank’s diary is published on 25 June 1947. Life in Amsterdam slowly gets back to normal. Of the 70,000 Jews who lived in the city in 1940 only 10,000 have survived the war.

1950 Lasting memory

Even five years after the liberation the reverberations from the war are still clearly noticeable. The Jewish community thanks Amsterdam for the help given to Jews with a monument.

1950  Lasting memory
  • 1950
  • To those who protected the Dutch Jews during the years of the occupation. Protected by your love. Encouraged by your resistance. Mourning with you.

    Part of the citation on the monument ‘Jewish Gratitude’
  • picture:Once a year, two minutes silence

The timeline is loading

In what sort of city did Anne Frank live? 
See how the occupation and the persecution of the Jews in Amsterdam have left their mark.

Please note: there is more

Use the scrollbar to view the entire item.




Bird’s eye view of Anne Frank’s Amsterdam

View the most important places with their story from Anne Frank’s Amsterdam. Click to the Timeline and see how Amsterdam changed from being a safe haven in 1933 to an occupied city. Zoom in by clicking on the plus sign on the left. This way you can click more easily on the places on the map