Henk Ras

Henk Ras *1940

The end of the War
It was May 7. We knew that the War was over and that the Canadians would reach Amsterdam in the afternoon. My father, mother and I went with hundred, thousands of people to the Dam. There it would happen. We were behind the palace and stood in the middle of the crowd. Suddenly we heard the shootings, a salvo, and the crowd started to run. Running over the Voorburgwal to the Singel into the Heiligenweg. I ran as good as I could in the crowd. At the Heiligenweg we heard the shooting again. Ten, twelve people pushed their way into a porch between two shop windows from a jewelry store. They tried to close the gate in front of the porch although it had ornaments. I was crushed between the gate and one of the shop windows. At that moment the manager of the store opened the door and everybody rolled inwards. I was saved. Later I understood that this shooting was carried out by some officers from the Groote Club, at which at the Dam many victims were fallen.
In those days you had food droppings.

II saw the airplanes but there was no other food. Later in the week were droppings, I still remember that we stood in the kitchen, with the three of us. Swedisch white bread with butter. It never tasted like then. Further on the road they put on a fair because of the liberation. For the first time I sat in a whirligig.

My parents and I never talked about it. Sometimes, through the years, I told about it to others. I have kept no unpleasant symptoms, but I react often scary on loud noises. For example as a spoon falls on the kitchen floor. My wife remarks once that through the shooting at the Dam I became sensitive for loud noises. Who knows?

March 2017

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