Simpelaar en Net

Wilhelmina Gerardina Net (1921-2013) and Cornelis Jan Simpelaar(1918-1990) witnessed the shooting at the Dam. Their daughter Ilse wrote:

I was touched by the article in the Telegraaf,  this morning. My parents were both present at the shooting.
My mother (at that time23 years old), was picked up by her fiancé, my father (26 years old), by the Binnengasthuis, were she worked as a nurse. My father, who joined the resistance, was the last year of the war in hiding, he told us about it.

They were on their way to his old hiding place in the Vaartstraat, not to see the Americans, but he could go outside again. Arriving at the Dam, they went in the direction of the Raadhuisstraat. Just beyond the Groote Club a jeep drove by. According to my father a hand grenade was thrown. Immediately after that, fire was opened from the Groote Club. He dragged my mother behind the ‘peperbus’ at the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal (it still stands there), they let themselves fall and my father and other men throw themselves over my mother, to protect her.
The bullets flew around them and misfired over the street. During a break my parents ran to a rear house with an open door. There were several people under which somebody with a broken arm. My mother helped him as good as she could. They got away via the garden. Surprised by the silence on such a short distance. Returning to help was not possible.

That night my mother had night shift. She had the responsibility over a ward with 10 men. In the morning 1 man was still alive. They were all wounded at the Dam. At May 4 she cried a lot. She had gone through a lot. But a few years before her dead in 2013 she told me that she always wondered, if one of the men who protected her behind the ‘peperbus’, would have been at her ward. I’m sure that my mother, working at the Binnengasthuis, also in the hungry winter, had seen a lot of trouble. She was in the midst of the bombardment of Middelburg, shootings on trains, but this, when the War was over, so touching, so meaningless.

I know this story won’t change anything , but I had to tell it.

Januari 2017

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