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1943 Deportations and attacks
Museum Quarter
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Foto van een meisje in Jeugdstormuniform. ©Beeldbank WO2 / Oorlogs- en Verzetsmateriaal Groningen

Hélène Egger - ‘I looked like a girl from the Jeugdstorm’

‘Now we had to go into hiding. Our first address was in Amsterdam. In the Vossiusstraat. We went there by tram. Without a star, otherwise we wouldn’t have been able to travel by tram. It was dangerous, but we did it anyway. We were in a sort of boarding house where we had two rooms. Grandfather and grandmother allowed me to go outside if I was very careful, also without my star of course. Grandfather did that too. He sometimes brought back food for us. How? No idea. But I know he ran many risks.

One time it nearly went wrong for me. One afternoon I was outside, close to this temporary home. I was wearing a dark blue skirt that day, with a light blue blouse and dark blue tie. I looked liked a member of the Jeugdstorm, a sort of scout group which many children from NSB families were members. The only thing I didn’t have was the cap. I thought this a very interesting costume. All of a sudden I saw two men on bicycles approaching. They stopped me and asked me my name. My grandparents had told me “If anything happens to you say that your name is Tineke Bakker. Never say your real name!” They asked where I lived. How I thought of it I’ll never know, but I said that I lived in the van Baerlestraat. Number 80.’


Source: Extract from Ik ben er nog. Het verhaal van mijn moeder Hélène Egger. In cooperation with the author Debby Petter and Uitgeverij Thomas Rap.

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Hélène Egger

Hélène Egger is a 10 year old Jewish girl when the war breaks out in 1940. When her mother has to undergo a serious operation she goes to live with her grandparents. After being arrested, Hélène manages, with the help of her grandfather who has connections in the Jewish Council, to escape from the Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch Theatre). She goes into hiding and eventually ends up at a farmer's family in Brabant.

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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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