Jenneke Slingerland

We received from Maria Muijderman-Slingerland the witness of her mother Jenneke:

My mother often told me about the incident at the Dam, once I took an interview about her life in October 1994.
A conversation as a result of the fearful character of my sister Nellie Slingerland(1943-1982) about the fear during the war. My parents Jenneke and Klaas  lived at Oude Waal 11.

“Those Germans were always close to us. That was also when the Jews were picked up: they shouted: All Jews gather! Klaas had the BBC on the radio. The Germans came upstairs and we had to show our passport, I trembled, he asked: if we had Jews in our house, I said no, no Jews. He said:” you don’t have to be afraid.”
He searched the house and wanted to leave, a NSB’er came and said to look on the attic. I was still afraid. It was terrible, the Germans with their helmets on, if you saw them march, and when the Nieuwmarkt was enclosed and the daughter of the milkman, who walked with her child, the same age as Nel,  they started to shoot and the child was hit in his eye and died. I went to them with Coba (Coba Dompeling, her neighbor ). Those people were very religious and said ”that child always loved music, now she has music in heaven…”.

“With the liberation I went, with Coba and the children, Lenie and Nel, with the pram, to the Dam. The Canadians were coming and Klaas was with Dompie ( the husband of Coba). They were in the Club, you know, we stood in the middle at the Dam, crowded, when the Canadians came by, they shot.
The bullets were flying around your ears and the people fled through the windows of the shops. I pulled the baby out of the pram and left it behind me.. We ended up at the Damrak, I think by the Roode Leeuw, they let us in with a lot of other people, and Nel lost her shoe.The Germans were still throwing grenades into the pubs, I was still afraid.
Klaas was at the Damrak, I wore a blue suit, and he saw a woman lying with a blue suit, he thought it was me. Coba went home with her child but I was still afraid.
She came home and he said: ”it’s her, you know”. I went home later, I walked round via the Central Station. Everybody was on the street when I arrived and I started to cry. I said: ”Those rotten Germans”.
Marie (her sister) was still angry because the pram was gone. I said:” rather the pram, then my child…”

Maria Muijderman-Slingerland
May 2016


Photo source NIOD

Photo Source Beeldbank WO2 – NIOD

uitsnedeMaria Muijderman: It’s difficult to see but on the left, I see a pram, an arm and the head of a child.
The woman behind, who looks down, looks just like my mother. She took my sister (1,5 years old) out of the pram and started to run. She left the pram behind.
My mother told a lot about it, and now because of this picture, that primal gesture of my mother, to take her child with her.
That’s why that photo has a lot of value for me

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