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1937 Members of Amsterdam’s community
Tolstraat 160
de Pijp
Tolstraat 160
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© USHMM/Anne Frank Stichting

A new synagogue

Laureen Klein knows Anne Frank from the Liberal Jewish congregation. In this video she talks about her memories of Anne, her mother Edith and sister Margot.

Jewish Laureen Klein arrives in Amsterdam from Frankfurt with her parents and two sisters in 1936. She goes to Rabbi Ludwig Mehler’s Jewish classes with Anne and Margot. He is the Liberal Jewish congregation’s rabbi. Like the Franks he’s also from Frankfurt. Anne and Otto aren’t particularly religious, Edith and Margot are. They go to the synagogue regularly.

Liberal synagogue

There has been a Liberal Jewish congregation in Amsterdam since 1931. The congregation grows so quickly because of the arrival of many German Jews that they have to find a place where they can hold services. From 1937 they rent the Theosophical Society’s temple. Heinrich Stern, president of the Liberal Jews in Germany is present at the consecration.

Synagogue becomes cinema

The Liberal Jews are only able to use the building for a few years. In 1942 it is confiscated by the German occupiers. It becomes a cinema.

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Laureen Klein

In 1936 Laureen Klein, who is Jewish, arrives in Amsterdam from Frankfurt with her parents and two sisters. In Amsterdam she meets the Frank family. Just as Margot and Anne; Laureen also goes to Jewish lessons. Because she has a Christian grandmother Laureen receives papers which show her to be non-Jewish and she is able to remain in Amsterdam during the war.

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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

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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