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1942 It becomes more dangerous for Jews
Daniël Willinkplein 1
Daniël Willinkplein
Daniël Willinkplein 1
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‘Jewish filth’

Reader’s letter:

Dear Sirs,

The Jew Zilversmit lives on the Daniël Willinkplein and runs a Jewish café and ice cream parlour. Now it's a terribly unpleasant sight to see all those ‘stars’ licking ice cream (they usually do on the street), but it is shameful that the paper, and there is a lot, together with the spoons are chucked down on the street.

I know that true to form Jews feel at home in any pigsty, but the occasional goy (Gentile) also lives in Amsterdam South. They have to hope that the street, along which they must also walk, is cleaned.

And don’t think that the Jew Zilversmit cleans up his own mess. No, the goy does that. The goy is a street cleaner and he seems to love his work because every time he cleans up this Jewish pigsty, he pops in to partake of something in the shop himself. This despite the fact that it’s ‘Jewish establishment’ and ‘Only Jews are admitted’. As well as this the Jew Zilversmit sold ice cream on Whit Monday to at least 30 Christians. Is it not time to take action?

Long Live Amsterdam!

De J.

Published in De Misthoorn, 6 June 1942

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Daniël Willinkplein

This square next to the ‘Skyscraper’ on the other side of the Merwedeplein, is named in 1922 after the poet and writer Daniël Willink (1676-1722). On 20 June 1943 the grassed area serves as an assembly point where Jews from the Rivierenbuurt area are forced to wait. From here, they are transported by tram to the Muiderpoortstation where they are taken to Camp Westerbork. In 1946 the square is renamed Victorieplein.

More about this location

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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