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1943 Deportations and attacks
Victorieplein [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
© NIOD / Anne Frank Stichting

Raid in the Rivierenbuurt

Jews walking to the grassy area in front of the ‘skyscraper’ on the Daniël Willinkplein. They must assemble here and wait until they are taken away by the Germans. After the war the name of this square is changed to Victorieplein. It’s not far from where Anne used to live on the Merwedeplein before she went in to hiding.

During the raid on Sunday 20 June 1943 about 5500 Jews from Amsterdam-Zuid and Oost are picked up. Many have been compelled to move to Amsterdam from other parts of the Netherlands in the previous year.

In the deepest secrecy

The raid is unexpected. To avoid it leaking out the security services only tell the assisting German and Dutch police about it at the last minute. From three thirty in the morning trucks with loudspeakers drive around the neighbourhoods summoning Jews to assemble on the Daniël Willinkplein, Olympiaplein, the Polderweg and in the Sarphatipark. The neighbourhoods are cordoned off by the police. The raid lasts until deep in the night.

Jewish homes plundered

Those people who do not turn up voluntarily are forcibly taken from their homes. All are put on trains and sent to Westerbork. They have to leave everything behind. The abandoned houses are looted by neighbours and by order of the Nazis.

Only a quarter survive

The deportations only started a year earlier. During the occupation a total of 107,000 Jews from the Netherlands are deported to extermination and concentration camps in Germany and occupied Poland. Just over 5000 will survive the camps. Several thousand other Dutch Jews, although they do not die in the camps, die of persecution. An unknown number commit suicide.  Only 25 percent of the 140,000 Dutch Jews survive the war. In total, almost 62,000 Amsterdam Jews were murdered.

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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 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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