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1943 Deportations and attacks
Plantage Kerklaan 36-38
Weesperbuurt and Plantage neighbourhood
Plantage Kerklaan 36-38
Weesperbuurt and Plantage neighbourhood [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
Aanslag op de burgerlijke stand in Amsterdam© Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD

Attack on the Public Records Offices on the Plantage Kerklaan

A resistance group led by Gerrit van der Veen and Willy Arondéus attack the Public Records Offices, by using dynamite. The plan is to destroy as many personal records as possible.

The fire doesn’t really take hold. The fire brigade helps by waiting as long as they can before putting the fire out and when they turn the hoses on they use much more water than usual in an attempt to destroy the records but still then only about 15% are destroyed.

The public records are used by the Nazis to track down people. They can also use the records to detect forged identity papers. False identity papers are much more authentic when the original details are no longer available. Gerrit van der Veen and Willy Arondéus head the PCB an organization responsible for forging identity papers. This is the reason why they decided to attack the Public Records Offices.

Due to betrayal and indiscretion nearly all the whole group is arrested and executed on 1 July 1943. Gerrrit van der Veen manages to stay out of German hands. Other members of the PCB including Willem Sandberg and Frieda Belinfante, who weren’t involved in the attack, go into hiding.

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Weesperbuurt and Plantage neighbourhood

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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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