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1941 Jews allowed to do and less
Merwedeplein [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
Fotocollectie Anne Frank Stichting, Amsterdam

The last family photo

This is the only nice photo where Margot, Otto, Anne and Edith are all together. It was taken in May 1941 on the Merwedeplein close by to where they live.

The Frank family has been in Amsterdam for eight years. Mother Edith has been homesick for Germany all this time. Her mother has fled from Aachen and has lived with the Franks since 1939. Edith’s two older brothers have emigrated to the USA.

Otto’s businesses

Amsterdam has already been occupied for a year by the Nazis. Life becomes more difficult for Jews. Otto Frank is forced to surrender his two businesses, Opekta and Pectacon. From October 1940 Jews are no longer allowed to own businesses. By way of a clever construction Otto Frank is able to keep his companies out of the occupier’s  hands. He transfers them to his non-Jewish employees. Pectacon becomes Gies & Co. Behind the scenes Otto remains the boss.

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Refugees and immigrants

After Adolf Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany in 1933, tens of thousands of Jews decide to leave their fatherland and to chance their luck elsewhere. A large number move to neighboring country the Netherlands. In 1941 the number of German Jewish refugees in the Netherlands totals 15,174.

Political and Jewish refugees are accepted, but the Dutch government also sends many back. The Jewish community is responsible for looking after the refugees.

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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