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1934 Limited admission of refugees
Rozengracht 207-213
Jordaan area
Rozengracht 207-213
Jordaan area [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
  • Police forces in the Willemsstraat. © Stadsarchief Amsterdam / Vereenigde Fotobureaux N.V.
  • Shop plundered from the company Wijnbergh & Co., Houtrijkstraat 24a, Hoek Assendelftstraat. © Stadsarchief Amsterdam / Vaz Dias Knipselservice
  • Children on the Dam. © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD
  • Funeral of 27 year old J.A. Gerresen, shot dead by police on 5 July. © Stadsarchief Amsterdam / C.A.J. van Angelbeek
  • Grote Wittenburgerstraat 92-90 © Stadsarchief Amsterdam / Polygoon
  • Police on horse. © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD
  • Mayor inspects troops on the Dam.

Unrest in the Jordaan and other areas of Amsterdam

Like other cities in the world Amsterdam is badly affected by the economic crisis in the 1930s. Many Amsterdammers lose their jobs. In the middle of the 1930’s about 50,000 people in the city are dependent upon unemployment benefits. This is a burden for the city. In order to reduce the debt, the council decides to economize on nearly everything, including the unemployment benefit.

Amsterdam’s unemployed don’t like this. On 4 July 1934 a protest meeting organized by the Werkloozen Strijd Comité established by the Communist Party is held in De Harmonie on the Rozengracht. From there, workers march into the city centre and scuffles break out between the demonstrators and police. Most unrest is in the Jordaan area where many of the workers live.

The rioting continues into the next day. Workers fight with the police and shops are looted. In the north of the Jordaan area barricades are erected and the bridges are opened. The police dare not enter the area. On 7 July the Amsterdam police force eventually regains control of the area.

The protests are to no avail. Cuts to the unemployment benefit are made.

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Jordaan area

A working class neighbourhood of Amsterdam to the west of the Prinsengracht. To the north of the area the Noorderkerk (church) can be found on the Noordermarkt. There was an air raid shelter here during the occupation. By the entrance to the church, a bronze statue of three women can be found. This commemorates the Jordaan area riots of July 1934. On the walls of the church, there are plaques commemorating the call to strike in February 1941 and in memory of those from the neighbourhood who died during the Second World War.

More about this location

1938 Many Jewish refugees after Kristallnacht

Many Jewish refugees flee to the Netherlands after Kristallnacht. Princess Juliana also feels connected to the Jewish community. But while more attention is drawn to the admittance of more Jews, NSB members threaten more intervention.

1940 Amsterdam occupied

Nothing changes too much for the Frank family in the beginning. Opekta moves to the Prinsengracht. During air raids bombs cause death and injury in Amsterdam.

1940  Amsterdam occupied

1941 Jews allowed to do and less

It starts with a cinema ban but rapidly Jews are banned from virtually all public places. Jewish children must attend separate schools. This also applies to Anne and Margot Frank.

1941  Jews allowed to do and less

1942 It becomes more dangerous for Jews

On her thirteenth birthday Anne Frank receives a diary. A few days later she writes about the situation in Amsterdam. The introduction of the Jewish star and the raids. In July the Frank family goes into hiding.

1942  It becomes more dangerous for Jews

1943 Deportations and attacks

While the Frank family is in hiding thousands of Jews are deported from Amsterdam. The resistance tries to hinder the deportations by attacks including one on the Public Registry. It doesn’t stop them.

1943  Deportations and attacks

1944 Discovered and arrested

On 4 August the people in hiding in the secret annex are discovered and arrested. From Westerbork they are taken to Auschwitz. When the Allies land in the south of the Netherlands there is hope that the country will be liberated. German soldiers and NSB members flee the country after Dolle Dinsdag (‘Mad Tuesday’).

1944  Discovered and arrested

1945 Joy and sadness

A celebration at the Dam on 7 May is ruined when people are killed after German soldiers shoot at the crowd. On 8 May Amsterdam is officially liberated. Otto Frank returns. He knows that Edith is dead. He only hears later that his two daughters have not survived.

1945  Joy and sadness

1946 Slowly the threads are picked up again

On 3 May 1946 the first official commemoration for those who died during the war is held. Anne Frank’s diary is published on 25 June 1947. Life in Amsterdam slowly gets back to normal. Of the 70,000 Jews who lived in the city in 1940 only 10,000 have survived the war.

1950 Lasting memory

Even five years after the liberation the reverberations from the war are still clearly noticeable. The Jewish community thanks Amsterdam for the help given to Jews with a monument.

1950  Lasting memory
  • 1950
  • To those who protected the Dutch Jews during the years of the occupation. Protected by your love. Encouraged by your resistance. Mourning with you.

    Part of the citation on the monument ‘Jewish Gratitude’
  • picture:Once a year, two minutes silence

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