Carla van Leersum

My mother was 24 years old and wrote a letter to her brother Willem. She lived with her parents at the end of the war at the corner of the Dam and Damstraat.

Her brother Willem (just 13 years old) was in the last year of the war, because of the food shortage, placed by a family in Drenthe, just like her sister Wil (18 years old).

 09-10-2013 16;50;40

Amsterdam May 7 1945

Dear Wim,

Today the first Canadian tanks arrive, about six.
Tomorrow arrive more and for what it’s worth I write you a letter now the post is being delivered. I’m very curious how you and Willie are doing and how you have endured the liberation. Everything passes by quietly in Drenthe? Who could had thought that you were liberated sooner than we. For us it came just in time otherwise we had nothing to eat. The last three weeks we only got half a bread and 1 kilo potatoes and this week no potatoes at all. The ration of bread would have stopped next week so the only things we get are the Red Cross packages but now it will get better.

This afternoon the Germans have been shooting at the Dam, it was terrible. There was a cheerful atmosphere and crowded , probably the Germans couldn’t bear it. Suddenly they started to shoot from the Grote Club and the people were not able to get away. Close to the Incassobank were a lot of injured persons, they were all transported on flat carts to the Binnengasthuis.

May 8 1945

Last night it was to dark to finish the letter and I will do it now and I post it right away.This morning at 07:00am the Canadians drove through the street….

Red: This story was first published in Old Amsterdam newspaper

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