Persecution and Resistance in Amsterdam. Memories of the Second World War. What happened in Amsterdam during the war years and what marks did the war leave in the streets of Amsterdam?
Persecution and resistance, a pocket booklet published by the Dutch Resistance Museum, makes you discover just that, with a walk from the Anne Frank House to the Dutch Resistance Museum.
The full colour pocket booklet of 18 pages with a fold out map is very informative and richly illustrated. The English and Dutch edition (each 0.50 €) are available at the Anne Frank House, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Dutch Resistance Museum. The route can be followed in both directions or by tram.
On 15 May 1940 German troops occupied Amsterdam. For five long years the city remained under German control. The material damage was relatively limited, but the war claimed many victims and affected lives profoundly.
In 1940 people in Amsterdam had to get used to soldiers marching the streets, the black-out rules and press censorship. From 1941 the atmosphere became even more grim. The large group of Jewish citizens was gradually excluded from public life and eventually deported to concentration camps. Cars disappeared from the streets, food and fuel became scarce.
During the first years resistancewas almost non existent; the occupation seemed to be tolerable and most citizens awaited coming events. However, terror increased and consequently the resistance became more organised.
The worst period was the long and cold 'Hunger Winter' of 1944-1945. In a frantic hunt for heating fuel, trees were cut down in the streets and doors and windows ripped from the homes of deported Jews. During the Hunger Winter 5.000 Amsterdam residents died of hunger and cold.
Due to the persecution of the Jews, Amsterdam lost 60.000 of its Jewish residents; almost one-tenth of the city's entire population.
The publication was partly funded by the Amsterdam City Council. It is a production of the Dutch Resistance Museum with thanks to the Anne Frank Stichting.