Words can kill

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The German occupier not only imposed its will using soldiers, but also through the Civil Service. A typewriter could be just as deadly as a bullet. Until the end of 1944 this typewriter was used in the Scholtenhuis on the Grote Markt, the main square in Groningen, in the north east of Netherlands.

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In this monumental building countless arrest warrants were set in motion, confessions were noted in detail after brutal interrogations and documents were typed to facilitate the persecution of the Jews.

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The SD used the building as an office and jail. Its eager employees had a reputation for their brutal interrogation methods and the utter randomness with which they operated.

Resistance fighters, as well as many others, were humiliated, beaten and tortured in the Scholtenhuis. The stately building was hated and feared. It was a place best to avoid – the gateway to hell. The situation deteriorated in the last year of the war, becoming more dreadful and violent. Members of the SD who had previously wreaked havoc in the south of the Netherlands joined forces with the staff of the Scholtenhuis. Amsterdam policemen who had already outdone themselves arresting Jews also made their way north. People were shot at random. Murder was the order of the day.

The notorious Scholtenhuis was the northern headquarters of the Sicherheitsdienst, the Nazi Security Service. In official communications between the various divisions of the Civil Service under occupation, the SS-insignia appeared regularly. So of course this typewriter was equipped with a special SS-key (above the #3).

FOute typemachIne

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