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1944 Discovered and arrested
Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 14
Leidseplein
Kleine-Gartmanplantsoen 14
Leidseplein [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
Portret van Gerrit-Jan van der Veen, oprichter van de persoonsbewijzencentrale.© Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD

Resistance fighter Gerrit van der Veen is executed

Sculptor Gerrit van der Veen is one of the most active resistance fighters. At the beginning of the occupation, he refuses to sign the Ariërverklaring and he protests against the Chamber of Culture. He directs the illegal magazine "The Free Artist"; and begins with the printer Frans Duwaer and gay artist Willem Arondéus the Persoonsbewijzencentrale (PBC, Central Office for Identity Cards), an organization that makes all kinds of false documents, including some 70,000 identity cards.

Van der Veen is regularly involved with sabotage and burglaries. On 10 February 1943 he starts a fire in the Regional Employment Board. On 27 March 1943 together with Arondéus, he does the same at the Population Register. They are all betrayed and hereafter, Van der Veen is permanently on the run.

With three others, including Gerhard Badrian, robs the Landsdrukkerij (a printer) in The Hague. They are able to obtain approximately 10,000 blank identity cards.

The last action from Van der Veen is an attempted escape of prisoners from the detention centre in Amsterdam. This plan fails. Van der Veen is shot twice in his back and becomes paralyzed. He manages to get to his hiding place, but is arrested on 12 May 1944.

Other robbers are caught as well. They, along with Van der Veen are sentenced to death on 10 June 1944. On the same day, they are executed at the dunes near Overveen, along with Frans Duwaer, who two days earlier was arrested at his printing company.

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Leidseplein

Square in the centre of Amsterdam, thanks to its cafés and theatres, is one of the most popular entertainment areas of Amsterdam. Hotel Americain and the Stadsschouwburg (theatre) are the most famous buildings. There is also a police station and nearby on the Kleine Gartmanplantsoen is the prison better known as 'de Weteringschans'.

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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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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