After reading the book Drama at the Dam I have the need for writing you. With tears in my eyes I read some parts, especially those of the 32 victims. It was a familiar situation because of the stories of my mother. My parents were born and raised in Amsterdam. My father, Jan Oudhof, *1919 – 1998, died at the age of 78. My mother, Jannetje Wismeijer *1923 – 2016, died at the age of 92. My parents were aware of the war and it affected their lives.
My mother was 17 years old when the war began and started going out with her friend, later her husband and my father. My father fought at the Grebbeberg and went into hiding at a family in Zeist. When my mother went to her friend she always travelled by train. Underneath her clothes she hides food coupons for the family were my father was hidden. Several times German soldiers stood at the train station in Zeist. Once, when she walked out of the station, a person in front of her was held, and she could sneak out. My mother told me so many stories..
On May 7 1945, they stood at the Dam when the shooting started. My mother wanted to run away but my father laid on the ground and pushed my mother also down, it was their salvation. They could never forget the many dead and wounded people that laid at the Dam. The war, especially the hungry winter, was awful for my parents, but the traumatic event at the Dam was one of the worst things they experienced.
My father never spoke about the war. My father always remembers the commemoration of the dead on May 4 08:00pm at the Weteringschans in Amsterdam because his best friend was executed by firing squad. My mother spoke about the war but she never watched war movies or war documentaries on television. She has got a lot of phobia about travelling, not far away from home, elevators etc.
The book Drama at the Dam has given me more insight about the tragedy. My mother, because of her trauma, couldn’t / wouldn’t read it, but I had the need. In memory of my parents it gave me a lot of clarity. As a result of the photos I would gladly asked her were my parents stood during the shooting at the Dam. Maybe there’s a picture in the book from my parents but I don’t recognize them. Unfortunately she died a year ago before the book was published.
So few people know about this terrible tragedy. I would like to thank you for all the work you have done for creating this book.