Mrs. Gerver-Dessing

Mrs.Toos Gerver-Dessing (*1931) was witness at the Dam and told us about the incident.

Our family lived at the Leidsegracht and togheter with two of my brothers we went also to the Dam.They sat on an old bicycle with wooden tires,one on the saddle and the other one on the carrier.I walked next to them. Piet van der Veldt was also there. His parents owned the Coffee-and Teahouse R.S.Smit on the Leidsestraat 92.
Piet voor winkel

Piet van der Veldt at the Coffee-and Teahouse R.S.Smit

We walked via the canals to the N.Z.Voorburgwal and coming at the Dam, we stood on the corner in front of the Palace. Suddenly the windows of the Grote Club opened and they started to shoot, men with grey uniform; it was from the first or second floor. Everybody callled’duck’, so we duck under that old bicycle. They shoot accurate because Piet van der Veldt was hit in his shoulder. We helped him but we had nothing on us. I still can’t forget the incident. My youngest brother made an essay about it for Mr.Haug.

 The children and the wife of Piet van der Veldt declared that their father/husband was shot before: From the current City-theatre (it was then a prison) at the Leidseplein.  A car with SS-men drove into the Leidsestraat. They started to shoot but when they saw that it was meaningless they turned back.F ather was shot on the bridge of the Prinsengracht but walked by himself to the Prinsengracht Hospital.

During one of our visits to the NIOD, we found a school notebook with essays of 27 pupils of the 5e class from the RK School Society, Pieter de Hoochstraat 80, Amsterdam.
In an accompanying note, the teacher in those days,  mr.J.S.M.Haug wrote:
On Saturday May 5th there was no school; since the hunger winter there was no school on Saturday; on the other days from 09:30am until 12:30pm. On Monday May 7th the boys came to school but the city council had given the school a day off. We sung in the hall the National Anthem, on request of mr. Heinemans, under my guidance. Afterwards we went home for the rest of the week. On Monday May 14th, I let them write the essays. After my death they are for the Rijks Instituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie.

In the school notebook is indeed an essay of Martin Dessing, the youngest brother of Mrs.Toos Gerver-Dessing. He mentioned  the name of Piet van der Veldt in his essay.
bevrijdingsopstellen klas 5 RK schoolvereniging, Martin Dessing -1wwwbevrijdingsopstellen klas 5 RK schoolvereniging, Martin Dessing -2www

 

Also his classmate mentioned the shooting of Piet.
Bevrijdingsopstellen klas 5 RK schoolvereniging, E Hebbelinck -1www Bevrijdingsopstellen klas 5 RK schoolvereniging, E Hebbelinck -2-www

It was May 4 of that year 1945. In the evening I was reading a book in the kitchen. About 09:00pm I heard from my neighboor that the war has ended. Then i quickly went to the living-room and looked outside. People were shouting and dancing on the bridge of the Prinsengracht. About 5 minutes later I heard Piet and Joop van der Veldt shouting.
They walked over to us. We went outside with the four of us. A group of people arrived. In front of them was a man with a trumpet, we joined them.
I lost Piet. We went with that group of people to the Leidsestraat, to the Koningsplein and  to the Kalverstraat. Then we returned. When we arrived at the Prinsengracht we formed a large circle, and we started to dance. A few minutes later three shots banged. I ran to a porch and lay flat on the ground. The first shot hit Piet and he assured that the boy also was hit.Then I went inside with my father and mother.
On Sunday afternoon he brings a visit to Piet.
Although Mrs.Gerver was confused about the moment of the shooting on Piet, she let us know that Piet or his brother Joop went with them to the Dam.
That is possible according to the story of the boys.

Thanks to Mrs.Gerver and Mr.Haug these stories remain save so that we could record the truth.

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