25 May 1943—The Day that 6500 Dutch Jews Annoyed the Nazis

500 Jews respond to the German appeal and register for departure to camp Westerbork. They wait for hours for the special train that will transport them from Muiderpoort Station, Amsterdam, to Westerbork.

Of the 7,000 Jews who had to report to the Polderweg in Amsterdam that day for deportation to Westerbork, only 500 appeared that day, much to the irritation of the Germans.

Because most of the 7,000 Jews did not heed the call, a raid follows the next day. The Jewish quarter in the centre is being cordoned off and homes are searched for those who ignored the call.

A month later, the Jewish quarter in the centre was evacuated and the Jews were forced to move to Amsterdam-East and South. Another major raid follows on June 20, 1943, this time completely secretly prepared. The Jews are startled by the noise of loudspeaker cars. They must gather at Daniel Willinkplein, Sarphatipark or Olympiaplein.

5542 Jews are registered by the employees of the camp administration who came especially from Camp Westerbork. Then they take the tram to the Muiderpoort station. They are also forced to board the train to Camp Westerbork and in the following weeks, they are deported from Westerbork to the extermination camps.

The normality of the picture above makes it quite disturbing. On Sunday morning, June 20, 1943, the Nazis s held large raids in Amsterdam East and South. Early in the morning, hundreds of Nazi policemen, members of the Voluntary Relief Police and a few dozen men from the Jewish Ordedienst(order service) from Westerbork assisted in the raid. Jews were ordered to gather, pack and bag in nearby places. This photo was taken secretly from a house in the Uiterwaardenstraat. Two empty cups of tea stand on the windowsill. In front of the door on the corner of Lekstraat and Kinderdijkstraat, Jews are gathered with their luggage. Two neighbours across the street hang out of the window to watch the events as well.

After this raid, almost all Jews from Amsterdam disappeared. Only the members of the Jewish Council and their families are still in the city. But not for long. During the raid on September 29, 1943, they too were arrested and taken to Camp Westerbork together with the last remaining Jews. The Germans declare Amsterdam ‘Jew-free’.

Deportation of Jews by train from Muiderpoort station in Amsterdam. A German soldier with a rifle checks that everything is in ‘order’. Netherlands, summer 1943.






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