Kees Jansen

lantarenpaal2At May 7 1945, there would be held a speech by some high authority at the Dam, who also would welcome the first allied. I wanted to see that and I went there. The Dam was crowded with people and there was
of course a cheerful mood, everybody was curious about the things that would happen.

I stood somewhere in the centre of the Dam on the small stones when I suddenly saw a running and screaming crowd that came towards to me. I choose not to run but to hide behind the post of the electricity provision from the tram and just then I heard the shooting with guns and machine-gun from the Groote Club on the corner of the Kalverstraat. Afterwards it appeared to be the soldiers of the Kriegsmarine. I could not run away and stood with my nose against the post (on the famous picture, the right post), behind me stood and lay a number of people, who just like me didn’t run away. There we were, sitting or laying in the centre of the shooting.

All around us people tried to bring themselves to safety, for a lot of people it didn’t succeed and everywhere were laying dead and wounded people. It was total chaos. I have a small book with photo’s entitled’ The Dam May 7 1945’and I am in there- not recognizable, but I know it’s me- the first in the line of people, who tried to make themselves as small as possible. Against the buildings were laying and crawling many hundreds of people behind wooden carts and anything what could give any protection, even behind a barrel organ. I saw scouts, people of the Red Cross and other assistance, with the risk of their own life, busy to help the victims.

Against the post was a locker and between the post and the locker I could see at a certain time that the rifleman behind the machine-gun was getting up. From that I seized the opportunity to run to the Palace, I was laying behind one of the greater lamp post with the broader foot. That was safe for a while. A few minutes later I ran around the Palace, crossed over the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and turn into a side street, along the way I ran into a shop because the shooting started again, and then I run away to my house. It has become a moved and anxious afternoon.

Source: De Oud Amsterdammer May 28 2013

Kees Jansen lived at the time of the incident on the Egelantierstraat

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