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1940 Amsterdam occupied
Events in and around the area of the Berlage bridge.
Berlage bridge
Events in and around the area of the Berlage bridge.
Berlage bridge [+] Enlarge map [-] Reduce map
  • Alderman Kropman, councilor and deputy mayor of Amsterdam, standing in front of SS Commander Standarte Der Führer’s car waiting for Lieutenant General Von Tiedemann to arrive. To the right behind a policeman with a rolled up white flag can be seen. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops at the Duivendrechtse bridge © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • Alderman Kropman, councilor and deputy mayor of Amsterdam, shakes Lieutenant General Von Tiedemann of the 207th Infantry Division’s hand. Consul General Felix Benzler watches. 15 May 1940 -Welcoming German troops at the Duivendrechtse bridge © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • Walter Paustian, the leader of the "German colony" in Amsterdam waves to passing SS troops. Alderman-deputy mayor Kropman is on the left. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops at the Duivendrechtse bridge © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • Oberführer Georg Keppler, SS Commandant Standarte Der Führer, greeting Consul Felix Benzler. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops at the Duivendrechtse bridge © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • Superintendant of the immigration police, H.R. Stoett, inspecting bullet holes (fired by Dutch soldiers) in an SS vehicle. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops at the Duivendrechtse bridge © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • German troops on their way to the centre of Amsterdam passing interested citizens gathered along the Weesperzijde. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops in Amsterdam © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • German troops cross the Berlage bridge. They are cheered by Dutch and German Nazi sympathizers. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops in Amsterdam © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD
  • German army trucks driving through the Damstraat to City Hall. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops in Amsterdam © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • Waiting for the German army is a civil servant with a map of Amsterdam. 15 May 1940 - Welcoming German troops in Amsterdam © Beeldbank WO2 / NIOD / Stapf Bilderdienst
  • Lieutenant General Von Tiedemann and his staff enter the town hall. 15 May 1940 -Welcoming German troops in Amsterdam © Beeldbank WO2 / Nationaal Oorlogs- en Verzetsmuseum Overloon/Liberty Park

German soldiers on the Berlage Bridge

Two days earlier, the Germans had been fighting the Dutch near the Grebbeberg. Now the deputy mayor Mr. Kropman of Amsterdam waits for German troops in Duivendrecht.

Mr. Kropman speaks in the presence of the German General Von Tiedemann, of his hope that the Germans will leave the Amsterdam Jews in peace. The general puts the Amsterdam mayor partly at ease by saying: ‘If the Jews don’t want to see us then we don’t want to see them.’

 

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Berlage bridge

The bridge over the Amstel, designed by architect H.P. Berlage, connects the Rivierenbuurt and the Weesperzijde. On 15 May 1940 German troops cross the bridge and enter the city. Five years later the bridge forms the background to Amsterdam’s liberation: on 7 May 1945 a British army reconnaissance unit crosses the bridge and on 8 May, troops from the Canadian army enter the city over the Berlage bridge.

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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Bird’s eye view of Anne Frank’s Amsterdam

View the most important places with their story from Anne Frank’s Amsterdam. Click to the Timeline and see how Amsterdam changed from being a safe haven in 1933 to an occupied city. Zoom in by clicking on the plus sign on the left. This way you can click more easily on the places on the map