Maria Jacoba Wijnberg-Koelman

Maria Jacoba Wijnberg-Koelman 1919-2010

Maria Jacoba (Rietje) Koelman married (in February 1945, at home, a minister was present, before the law they got married in August) with Salomon(Sambo) Wijnberg, 1922-2015, they lived in the Eemsstraat 72 and had 3 daughters.

She was one of the wounded who was brought to the First Aid post of the Binnengasthuis on May 7 1945. She got seriously wounded: a shot wound in her right upper leg, left thorax and left upper leg. (The note ’left kidney’ belongs not to her, according the reaction of her daughters)


Wounded people where taken to hospital “Binnengasthuis” Photo: Hans Sibbelee, Collection Nederlands Fotomuseum.


Daughter Ineke:
Your contact has triggered a lot by my two sisters Betty, Els and myself. Our mother Rietje was shot and hit, she was hospitalized in the Binnengasthuis: there was a talk of a lasting fragment in her body which couldn’t be removed. It seems that all three of us have other memories to it. At home we hardly spoke about it.
What I remember from Rietje, is that  she told me that she was hospitalized because she was hit in her upper leg and  she had a scar (I saw it when she was in her bathing suit) and at the X-rays you always saw the fragment. It was not possible to make mri-scans because of the presence of metal. Also detection gates always respond (a.o the journey to Indonesia). It was the shooting from the Groote Club, I think. If I see documentaries of the incident , I think, just like Betty : ‘she was there…and I try to ‘recognize’ her, with the limited knowledge that you have by old photos.’
It is considerable moving what she gone through (she was celebrating with her sisters/friends), she never spoke about it…. it caused quite a stir by myself also to my children. I realize we have to talk about it, now, before all memories and information will disappear, but they are too busy, no interest and a different ‘world’.


Daughter Els:
The contact with the Foundation has triggered a lot by myself..
My memories are a little different. Celebration at the Dam because of the liberation. Rietje found herself in the crowd nearby the Nieuwe Kerk when the Germans suddenly  start shooting. I only remember the wound on her leg (left) and that she was brought to the hospital and Sambo was warned. I knew the scar and something vague about the fragment that couldn’t be removed.Sometimes it was inconvenient. I never know that she had more shot wounds. A kidney! After the war people hardly spoke about what took place, they all wanted a new life, future-oriented. Besides you didn’t ‘nag’. That’s why I think we didn’t know a lot about it, sometimes an’exciting’ story.
It’s a bit shameful that it was much worse then I realized. As a child you have little attention for your parents. As for me and many with me, I know.
February 1 1945 they always saw as their ‘ wedding day’, so it is obvious that they called themselves married. After all it was possible.
By the way there is a movie or documentary about these events, broadcasted on television, I didn’t saw it. I’m sure the Foundation knows that.


Daughter Betty:
Recently I saw images of the Dam May 7 1945 and thought my mother was there, should I recognize her. I know that she was injured but not that it was so extensive.
By my knowledge, she had a ‘splinter’ in her thorax. Sometimes she was concerned that it would ‘move’ but it was encased.
I don’t remember any scarfs or an operation on her kidney. According to me she had injuries on her upper legs. I don’t  remember if she ever talked about it, she was undernourished. It must have caused a great impact. There was probably no attention for, or other things were more important. What’s very special that she introduced herself as Mrs.Wijnberg, while they were married official for the law in August.

April 2017

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