New acquisition: Stamp collection of the PBC

Stamp collection of the PBC
March 5-April 6, 2008

On 27 March 1943, 65 years ago, sculptor Gerrit Jan van der Veen teamed up with Willem Arondéus and a group of helpers to attack the Amsterdam municipal register, which was across the street from the current Verzetsmuseum building.

Van der Veen was the founder of the largest forgery group of the war period, the Persoonsbewijzencentrale (identity card centre - PBC).The PBC produced more than 70,000 forged identity cards and numerous other documents. Destroying the information in the municipal register was  important for people in hiding and resistance workers who were using false identities, and it would help make the persecution of Jews more difficult.

The attack on the municipal register attracted a lot of attention and was later replicated in other municipalities. Many of the attackers were arrested and executed. Van der Veen managed to escape. On 1 May 1944, he was severely wounded during an attempt to liberate imprisoned fellow resistance workers. On 12 May 1944, he was arrested at his hiding place and executed in the dunes on 10 June 1944.

Gerrit Jan van der Veen’s work for the PCB was continued by others, including Kees Rübsaam. The Verzetsmuseum received the entire collection of PBC stamps from Gerrit Jan Wolffensperger, the son of Gerrit Jan van der Veen.  

The entire collectionof PBC stamps is on show, together with images on the wall showing the demolished municipal register after the attack. The wall of the former register, now Studio Plantage across the street, incorporates a commemorative plaque with the names of the 12 men who were executed by firing squad as a result of the attack.