* Amsterdam November 21 1892
† Amsterdam May 9 1945
Sophia Frederika Mathilda de Vries died, 52 years old, at May 9th 1945 at 11:15pm by bullet wounds.
The documents indicate cause off death: ‘bullet wounds’ and lung embolism by a compound fracture of the right thigh bone. Bone fractures could be the caused by bullet wounds.
She was the eldest of 7 children from Jan de Vries 1873-1959, oil man, and Johanna Vermij 1870-1955.
Sophia married September 26 1912 with Leonardus Vermeulen 1890-1957, owner of a laundry at the Rapenburgstraat 181-huis. She worked as ironer for her husband and both worked as artist.
They got 2 children: Leonardus Vermeulen 1913-1989 and Sophia Johanna Vermeulen 1920 (married to Stephan Vas), 1 son Rodney.
After Sophia died, Leonardus Vermeulen remarried with Ida Grietje Bosscher 1925.
After Leonardus Vermeulen died, the widow Ida lives in the Veerstraat 45.
From both children has been found family who can confirm that Sophia died on the consequences of the shooting at the Dam.
Peter Kubber remembered that his ‘uncle Leo’ told about the shooting of his mother at the Dam when he and his wife brought a visit to his parents. From the German Club(Grote Club) at the Dam, was being shot from a floor, at the celebrating people. “In the beginning of August 1981 my uncle Leo informed me briefly about the death of his mother, he told me this in a controlled way. We let the dog out and generally it was a summer evening stroll were we talked about everything, his life in Spain and his past, especially ‘surviving’ during World War II in Amsterdam. The day in question, May 7, he describes it as a dark chapter, at which the Germans, during one of the May celebrations, unnecessary taking away his mother “the War was over for heaven’s sake”, she rescued the life of her grandchild but lost her life. They were bad losers “Those lousy ”Germans”. It was the only time that I could catch my uncle Leo for using curses, he always spoke properly Dutch (with an Amsterdams accent).
I was perplexed after this story.
Great-granddaughter Natalie Vas tells us ”Most regrettable, Rodney Vas, my father, died in the Spring 2013.
Here’s what my father has told me…
On that day, even though everyone was celebrating and being happy, my grandfather (my father’s father) warned my dad and his grandmother (who was raising him) not to go as he said he had a bad feeling about it.
My father remembered going to celebrate and seeing German soldiers on the rooftops. The soldiers shot into the crowd. My great grandmother jumped onto him to protect him and got shot twelve times by a machine gun.
Shocked, one of my father’s optic nerve “got severed” which made him cross-eyed. Even though he was operated on, his eye remained fragile and would “cross” when he was tired.
I believe this event has changed my father’s life forever and has traumatised him.
Wilhelmina Ronner 1925 : My mother and Sophia were sisters. ’Aunt Sophia was my favorite. As a child I came there often. The smell in the laundry was lightful. Nobody in the family talked about the death of my aunt and the contact between uncle Leo and my cousins cooled off. The date, May 7 2016, the unveiling of the monument, is in my agenda.
Vera van der Wens describes the memories of her mother Johanna Harmina de Vries, to her aunt: Aunt Fie was the sister of my father. Aunt Fie had a laundry in the Jordaan. If I visited her with my girl-friend we both got a dime. In the living-room hang a beautiful painting of the interior of the stomach of a cow even blades and knots in it. My aunt had a grandson Rodney, from her daughter Fifi and if her daughter had to perform, she took care of her grandson. When the liberation was celebrated at the Dam I would like to go there but my father said that it was to dangerous. He was right, when they started to shoot from the Grote Club, she jumped upon her grandson to protect him and she was hit. Aunt Fie had been taken away on a filthy flat cart, got an infection and died.
My grandparents suffered.