Hilligje Mastenbroek – Hilligje

* Landsmeer September 7 1924
† Amsterdam May 7 1945

Hilligje-Mastenbroek“Here rest our dear daughter and sister Hilligje Mastenbroek 20 year of age. From remembrance of friends and acquaintances.” A tombstone  with this words stood for years on the cemetery of Landsmeer in memory of the killed Landsmeerse at the Dam on May 7 1945. Hilligje Mastenbroek was born on September 7 1924 in Amsterdam as only daughter of Roelof Mastenbroek and Sjoerdtje Stopetie became the victim of the shooting on the Dam.

German soldiers opened fire on the crowd from the building of the Groote Club. There were a lot of people present because of the liberation and the arrival of the Canadians. Hans Mastenbroek, her 10 year old younger brother, who lived in Purmerend, tells that her roommate Klaas van der Woude, who operates under the pseudonym Piet Hooghoed, found Hilligje, a few days after the shooting on the Dam, in the Zuiderkerk.
He was just in time to prevent that Hilligje should be buried in a mass grave. Friends and acquaintances took care of a tombstone. During the war Hilda lived with her mother an brothers on the Zuideinde 159.
Hilda worked by a Jewish family on the Prins Hendrikkade.Just like all young girls she wanted to see  the arrival of the Canadians. In her lunchtime she went to the Dam. Probably, when the shooting started, she ran away in the direction of Peek and Cloppenburg. Most likely she’s pushed through the glass shopfront. When she didn’t cam home in the evening from  work, the anxious suspicion existed, that she was one of the victims of the Dam. After an anxious search through town she was found in the Zuiderkerk. Klaas van der Woude brought her home on a cart. Hans Mastenbroek reminds that there was a beautiful wreath draped around her neck, it had to cover the wound, the one she got by the fall through the shopfront. Her brother told that Hilda was a beloved sister and a decent girl. As if she had a premonition of her last days she gave away pieces of soap and chocolate, it came out of a liberation parcel.
What remains of Hilda is a picture and her poetry album. One poem of her teacher J.Tolsma van de Adema from the Scheltemaschool written on July 26 1941 had to be mentioned. says Hans Mastenbroek.
Too bad the wish for Hilda didn’t came out.

“We live in dark times. Where many young people suffer.
 Feeling the pressure of the violence of war.
 For you and all that young people.
 I shouldn’t wish anything else but
 A youth of peace and joy.”

Source: Golden War Memories

From our investigation seems that the death certificate speaks of shot wounds.

Brother Hans(Johannes*1935) was 9 years old. His mother always told him that she fell through a shopping-window, but he understood from us that the windows of Peek and Cloppenburg were intact recording the images. He has never heard of bullet wounds.Several witnesses spoke about broken windows were people were pushed into  because of the hectic.

Corrie van Leersum(*1930) was the next-door neighbour, she was 15 years old. She remembers the reaction that the death had on the family. Hilligje lived in the same city as Jan Goede.

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