The 11 June 1941 raid in Amsterdam.

Adolph Gerson

On June 11, 1941, a second raid took place in Amsterdam as a result of the attacks on buildings occupied by the German Wehrmacht. Jewish cafes and sports clubs were ransacked. 310 young Jewish men were arrested by the Amsterdam police and Ordnungspolizei. Some came from the Jewish working village of Wieringermeer. They were taken to the SD building on Euterpestraat and then to Camp Schoorl. Some were released for health reasons. The rest of the men were sent to Camp Mauthausen on June 26, 1941. The raid was revenge for a bomb attack by the resistance on May 14, 1941 and an attack on the Luftwaffe telephone exchange on June 3, 1941. None of the Jewish men returned from Camp Mauthausen.

One of those men was Adolph Gerson Frohmann(pictured above). He was murdered in Mauthausen on January 16,1942.

The Nazis arrested 310 young Jewish men. Otto Frank was not arrested, but friends and neighbours from the Merwedeplein area, where he had been living for eight years, were. The raid happened a day before Anne Frank’s 12th birthday.

As a precaution, Otto Frank and other men from the square frequently spent the night at the homes of non-Jewish friends or colleagues. In all likelihood, these events prompted Otto Frank to start thinking about a proper hiding place. After attempts to emigrate to the US had failed, he started working on plans to take his family into hiding in the Secret Annex in earnest in the spring of 1942..

There was a stark contrast compared to the raids that had taken place in Amsterdam in February 1941. At that time, the population of Amsterdam and other cities across the Netherlands, had gone on a massive gneral strike in protest against the persecution of the Jews, but in June 1941, the city stayed silent. The Nazis had violently suppressed the February strike, instilling fear in the population. The Amsterdam resistance newspaper Het Parool and other illegal newspapers expressed their abhorrence of the raids of 11 June. They called on people to not cooperate with the Germans and to sabotage them whenever they could. For the larger part, though, the Amsterdam population largely ignored this call.

Sources

https://www.annefrank.org/en/anne-frank/go-in-depth/second-raid-amsterdam/

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/226518/adolph-gerson-frohmann

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/bronnen?term=11+juni+1941

May 25,1943-The day that 6500Dutch 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 Amsterdan 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 center is being cordoned off and homes are searched for those who ignored the call

A month later, the Jewish quarter in the center 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 actually 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,packed and bagged 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 neighbors 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.

sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/artikel/nsb-fotografen-leggen-jodenvervolging-vast

https://beeldbankwo2.nl/nl/beelden/detail/ff1516da-025a-11e7-904b-d89d6717b464/media/9f3ef422-a767-21ee-5c3f-459c091d6e02

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/artikel/de-razzia-van-20-juni-1943-het-verhaal-achter-de-foto

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The Evil of Herman Heukels.

Not every evil act was committed by a weapon or by sending people to the gas chamber. Some evil acts were much more subtle.

Herman Heukels was a photographer and a member of the NSB, the Dutch Nazi party, Herman’s weapon was a camera. He took pictures of several raids. His most famous pictures are probably those he took in Amsterdam, on the Olympia Square on June 20,1943, of Jews awaiting deportation . His photographs were published in “Storm” the newspaper for the Dutch SS.

It was evil because he knew these people were going to be deported to camps like Westerbork and eventually so Auschwitz and Sobibor. He knew that most of these people would be murdered. He took pictures of families who would be dead only a few weeks or few months later.

The people he took pictures of were clearly distressed. Their houses or apartments were just taken away from them, all they had left were a few suitcases. They didn’t know what the future would hold for them. But they knew it wasn’t good.

Herman did not take these pictures for them to pick them up after he had developed them. Herman posted them in a vile newspaper so that its readers could gloat.

Herman Heukels passport had expired a day after he took the pictures on the Olympia Square, it expired on June 21,1943. He then applied for a foreign passport, I can only presume a German passport.

He was arrested after the war and committed suicide on April 26,1947,while in prison.

sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/thema/Herman%20Heukels

Vel’ d’Hiv-July 16-17 1942-Round up of the French Jews.

It always amazes me how easy it was for some Europeans to give up their Jewish neighbours. I know it is easy for me to say that in retrospect, because I don’t know how I would have reacted if I was put in that situation. But I have a feeling I would have least spoken out about it.

In the Netherlands 75% of all Dutch Jews, or Jews residing in the Netherlands were murdered during the Holocaust. It wasn’t so much that all Dutch were complicit in this crime. A big factor was the very efficient Dutch civil administration which enabled the occupiers to carry out their plans for the final solution. As I stated before only relatively few Dutch were complicit, but there were a great number that were complacent and hid for the facts that were so plain to see.

In France however, it was the French Vichy government that were complicit and were quite happy and eager to help the Nazi occupiers.

I remember a scene in the movie “Mr. Klein” about a man profiting off the misfortune of French Jews during World War II. In the scene it was the French police knocking at the door of the Jews and not the Gestapo. Although the film is fictional, it does give a good indication of the French attitude towards their Jewish neighbours. This 1976 film directed by Joseph Losey. Alain Delon plays the immoral art dealer, Robert Klein, leads a life of luxury, until a copy of a Jewish newspaper brings him to the attention of the police, linking him with a mysterious doppelgänger.

On July 16th 1942, French police acting on orders of the Nazi occupiers began rounding up thousands of Jews living in Paris. They were assembled at the city’s indoor velodrome the victims were held at the Vélodrome d’Hiver, cycling stadium in Paris’s 15th arrondissement. From there they were being deported to Auschwitz. Many died at the velodrome itself, left in searing heat with almost no food, water or sanitation. This shameful chapter in France’s history is known as “la rafle du Vel d’Hiv'”. The French police, code named the round up Opération Vent printanier (“Operation Spring Breeze”)

The roundup was one of several aimed at eradicating the Jewish population in France, both in the occupied zone and in the free zone. According to records of the Préfecture de Police, eventually 13,152 Jews were arrested including more than 4,000 children. They were all put in rail cattle cars to be deported to Auschwitz for their mass murder.

Over 3,000 children remained interned orphaned, until they were deported to Auschwitz as well.

Many wartime French authorities and police played an active role in the deportations, but one Paris policeman, Théophile Larue, took a stand. He warned his Jewish neighbors, the Lictensztajns, of the upcoming “Vél d’Hiv” roundup. He arranged for the family to escape to southern France and obtain false papers. The Lictensztajns were saved by one man who made a choice to uphold his position to protect all citizens, but unfortunately, not all French Policemen took that position.

Théophile Larue didn’t save only the Lictensztajn.

In March 1941, the Larue and his wife Madeleine offered their hospitality to Léon Osman, who thus managed to avoid being sent to the Pithiviers camp. He remained under their care until July 1942, when he was able to escape to the south of France. Osman was on the Gestapo’s list of wanted people; giving shelter to such a person was a grave offense and carried a heavy punishment.
On July 15 1942, Larue gave advanced warning of the planned large-scale roundup of Jews that was to start the next day to eight Jewish families who lived in his building, thus allowing them a chance to flee and find refuge.
The Larue couple sheltered Chuma Brand, and her daughter Fanny in their apartment for a week, in July 1942. Then Théophile accompanied them to the train station in his uniform so as to facilitate their flight to the unoccupied zone. In November 1942, Simon Glicensztajn, also on the Gestapo’s list, found refuge in the Larues’ home for a few days. Moreover, one night, Larue broke in to the police-sealed apartment of Glicensztajn’s sister, Laja Tobjasz, to help remove a stock of merchandise that would provide the family with a livelihood.
Once, when Mrs. Tobjasz returned to Paris from southern France, she was arrested and taken to the prefecture. When Larue heard this, he donned his uniform, went to the prefecture and asked to speak to the prefect.

He said that Mrs. Tobjasz was Catholic and his daughter’s godmother. Although skeptical, the prefect must have had a change of heart, because he released her into Larue’s custody. Théophile Larue believed that it was his duty as a man of honor, and one who had respect for human values to help people in need, even at the risk of putting his family in harm’s way. As a member of the French Resistance, Officer Larue took part in the battle for theliberation of Paris. After the liberation, the Larues continued to be in touch with the families of those they rescued. On September 23, 2007, Yad Vashem recognized Théophile and Madeleine Larue as Righteous Among the Nations.

German authorities continued the deportations of Jews from French soil until August 1944. In all, some 77,000 Jews living on French territory were murdered in concentration camps and killing centers—the overwhelming majority of them at Auschwitz.

For his pivotal part in the deportation of Jews from France, Pierre Laval, formerly the French Prime Minister, was arrested and tried after the liberation of France. He was shot by firing squad on 15 October 1945.

The fate of two German officials most involved in the Vél d’Hiv mirrored the common fates of high-ranking SS administrators. Theodor Dannecker was arrested by American officials in Bad Tölz, Bavaria, in December 1945, and committed suicide while in custody. Helmut Knochen, sentenced by a British court to 21 years in prison for a separate offense, was sentenced to death by a French court in 1954. The sentence was commuted to life imprisonment, and Knochen was released on orders of French President Charles de Gaulle in November 1962.

sources

https://www.france24.com/en/focus/20140716-france-vel-hiv-roundup-jews-nazi-death-camps-deportation-survivor

https://apnews.com/article/9603cd8d7461de30c1fe5c192b14c98c

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-velodrome-dhiver-vel-dhiv-roundup

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/photo/theophile-larue?parent=en%2F11768

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2 ,however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thanks To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the paypal link. Many thanks

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