He was 17 years old. Walked on May 7 1945 with two neighbour girls and a neighbor boy from Ransdorp to the Dam to see the allies. Cor found himself in a gunfight from a German machine-gun.”Prrrt,prrrrt,sounds it.
Chaos, says Cor Klees (85 years old). He was running for his life. There were at least 22 deceased, but probably more.
Klees was on May 7 1945 early in the morning in Amsterdam. ” We bumped into a German patrol near the Victoria Hotel. Automatically you stepped aside. You better have them in front of you then after you”.
He remembered the tanks on the Dam. “There was a man sitting on the tank who said that the Germans could pack their bags. One push on the button from the cannon and the building of the Groote Club were the Kriegsmarine was , would shake on his foundation,” says Cor.
“I heard people singing the Wilhelmus (our national anthem), they walked with orange decoration from the Rokin. I also saw close-cropped nazi girlfriends who went in to the Kriegsmarine of the Kalverstraat. About five girls.” He also saw jeeps with Canadians at Hotel Krasnapolsky.
And then it went wrong. “I saw that the doors of the balcony opened on the first floor of Hotel the Groote Club and a barrel came out. ‘Prrrt, prrrt’ sounds it. A machine-gun, I ran and stood crosswise behind a big post.
A big one were the electric cable of the tram was stuck on. A little later it stopped. The rifleman had to switch a bullet-casette. I ran to the park on the Dam (were now the Monument stands) and duck behind the edge.
I saw a pram who was run down. People were falling behind me. Again the shooting started. A immense noise, screaming people.’
He lost his friends in the struggling, but they saw each other again in Ransdorp.
and he knows about the scouts, an organization committed by the Germans who were walking around on the Dam. ” I also had been a scout and one time I had to deliver my scout belt by the constable.”
Original source: an interview by Rien Floris with Cor Klees and Arthur Rebattu.
Published in the Gooi and Eemlander June 13 2013