Aaltje Scheffer-Smorenberg – Aaltje

* Grootebroek August 16 1918
† Amsterdam May 7 1945

Aaltje’s parents were Arie Smorenberg and Maartje Blokker. Arie Smorenberg (1891-1955) was born in Alkmaar into a family of 10 children all born between 1888-1905.

The family lived for 35 years above the barbershop of Aaltje’s father at Kadijksplein 8.

Aaltje Smorenberg Kadijksplein 8-12, Op de hoek café De Groote Slok

Kadijksplein 12-8, at the corner the pub: “De Groote Slok”

 Source: Stads Archief Amsterdam 010009004538

Aaltje worked for her father as a hairdresser. She married Leonardus (Leo) Franciscus Marinus Scheffer (1913-1970) on December 17, 1942 and they moved to Ruyschstraat 123.

Aaltje died from shot wounds on Dam Square at 3 pm. She was 27 years old. She had no children.

Her husband later married Guurtje (Guus) Trijntje Nieuwland (1924-2010) and they had one son Jacob (Jaap).

Aaltje Smorenberg had a brother Pieter Franciscus (1921-1922) and a sister Elisabeth (Betsie) born in 1922. After her parents died in 1957, Betsie moved to Nieuwer Amstel.

Jacob, the only son of Aaltje’s husband and his second wife, says:  ‘I was 21 in 1970 when my father died. This is when I first learned at the notary’s office that my father had been married before. My mother told me that he never wanted to talk about it. Unfortunately I have no photo or more information.’

Ms. Jochemus-Van Beest (*1926) is the daughter of Aaltje’s father Arie’s younger sister. She remembers:

‘Aaltje had gone to Dam Square with her younger sister Betsie, where she was shot. Arie had a barbershop. Betsie died years ago, she was not married. Nobody talked about the incident and I don’t know anything else about it’.

 Arie Smorenberg’s family was so large and still we have not been able to locate anyone who might have more information or a picture of Aaltje.  Arie’s siblings have of course long since died. But does anyone remember the family of the barbershop at Kadijksplein 8?

Grietje de Vries: I was nearly 6 years old but I remember that day very good.Because I was then only child I had to come along always but not this time.Probably that saved my life. My aunt told us that she lost my mother Bertha de Vries-Brons(1916-2003) and didn’t know were she was. Panic. Eventually they found her in the Binnengasthuis were she was waiting for help because she had a shot wound in her upper arm. At night she walks on the street because of the pain and for the rest of her life she lived with a mutilated arm. Her girl-friend Aaltje Scheffer was deadly hurt that day. Unfortunately I have no photo of Aaltje.

Foundation Memorial 2015 for victims of Dam Shooting May 7 1945 is looking for any information on Aaltje Smorenberg. Please contact dam07051945@gmail.com

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