Jaap Beekhuis

Jaap Beekhuis *1931

As a boy of 14 years old I experienced a shooting. Monday May 7 1945, I stood at the Dam, with thousands of Amsterdammers, waiting for the arrival of the Canadians. The German Army surrendered official, so there was nothing the matter. Suddenly there was a shooting. German soldiers, who didn’t hand in their weapons, were hit in a combat with armed men from the Resistance, it was situated were the Kalverstraat joins the Dam.
So I ran to the other side, between the Bijenkorf and Krasnapolsky through the Warmoestraat, onto the Zeedijk, via the Sint Nicolaaskerk, around the Central Station to the Valkenwegpont. Sometimes I looked behind me and then I saw it again: horse and carriage. An image of transport of German material, apparently it was brought from A to B, via the Populierenlaan. It was something that happens and what I saw from our house. I was obviously in panic. Because of the irregular service of the ferry I had to wait for half an hour, but it makes me calm. In Amsterdam-Noord I walked quietly.

I was panicking and afterwards never been in such a state of panic. I saw Germans with horse and carriage coming after me but it was a hallucination. What I also remember: a woman with a pram, during my flight, and that the pram was fallen down. I was so panicking that I wasn’t able to stop, but had to run. Normally spoken I would have helped to put the pram upright. It made a deep impression on me.

February 2017

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