Anne Frank's Amsterdam
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1944 Discovered and arrested
Noorder Amstellaan 120
Rivierenbuurt neighbourhood
Noorder Amstellaan 120
Rivierenbuurt neighbourhood [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
2 Nazis in Holland during occupation.© Kryn Taconis / Library and Archives Canada

Nol Escher - ‘My neighbour Ernst has just turned 16 and risks being picked up’

‘My neighbour Ernst has just turned 16 and risks being picked up because he hasn’t registered for the Arbeitsdienst. If he hears that they are going to search houses for boys and men then he sleeps in our spare room. My father has a huge desk which was his grandfather's. The desk has cupboards on both sides for papers. Ernst sleeps in one of these cupboards.

We have already practiced how long it takes for him to get here if they call. Uncle with his stopwatch. I knocked on the front door, nothing, then another hard knock. Then the rope is pulled and the front door opens. I rush up the stairs, wait for a moment in the hall then go into the dining room where the desk is. Everyone looks at me, except Ernst, because he’s in the desk. Uncle looks concerned, it’s got to be quicker. Ernst is sitting there with his knees up against his chin and his head bowed. We tried every position, him on his knees with his head down, but try doing that for half an hour, all the blood rushes to your head.’


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

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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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