Impje Bes *1942
My mother, more than 6 months pregnant of my brother, and I, 2.5 years old, lived temporarily by strangers in Amsterdam-West on a cold room on the attic.
The Red Cross evacuated us to that place and we spend the hungry winter together. Original we have our roots in IJmuiden but unfortunately the city was often bombed, by both the Germans and the Allies. In Amsterdam we felt reasonably save but as it turned out later, that was not true.
It was May 7 1945. My mother and I were that afternoon at the Dam to celebrate the liberation.
My mother didn’t know the way to the Dam, we never been there and we walked along with the crowd. The shoes that I had received from the ’strange lady’ have faltered, it didn’t bother us, after all we were celebrating. Up to the moment that some German officers shot at us from the building, you all know. She pulled me away to take shelter behind a lamp post. My mother told me later that she thought that the shots came from ‘Krasnapolsky’. I was slightly injured, I still have a scarve from the grazing shot along my chest. I can’t remember the incident, I was too young.
When I was 11 years old I asked my mother what the notch on my chest was and she told me the whole story. This incident had a great impact on the life of my mother. Once returned in IJmuiden she never wanted to go back to the Dam or Amsterdam for no reason. The book was closed. Therefore I was happy to be present at this commemoration and the revealing of the monument at the Dam also on behalf of my deceased mother.