I was going on the bike to the city centre to take part of the celebration a day after the liberation. My daughter Saskia stayed at home under the care of my sister in law who lived in my home.
My husband was still in Germany. He was taken away from home for the “Arbeitseinsatz’.
I was cycling along the Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal along the Telegraafgebouw, where at that time the Deutsche Zeitung was. The employees and also the Germans in uniform were dragged outside and pushed into rows to the Paleis, teased by the Dutch who marched beside them.
In the meantime they sung abusive “Wir fahren gegen England”, the song that irritated us for five years. Sweet revenge.
Pushed forward by the crowd, I stopped, at the corner of the Paleisstraat Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, with a view on the cheering crowd on the Dam, were “Happy days are here again” was blared out of the speakers.
I noticed that the situation became hostile.
The Domestic Armed Forces tear everything who wore German uniform the weapons and decorations roughly from the body. They kicked the Germans literally into the Paleis under the cheering of the crowd.
The Domestic Armed Forces had taken over the control of the situation more or less. There was no authority: the Germans counted out and no sign of the Canadians.
Suddenly a jeep with four German officers drove by. They were also dragged out of the jeep by the Domestic Armed Forces. But at the moment that they would be humiliated, the shooting started. The screaming crowd fled in all directions.
I ran with my bicycle in my hand in the direction Spuistraat.
Afterwards it appears that the shooting started in the Groote Club, corner of the Kalverstraat. Apparently there were German soldiers on the roof.
Being scared by the threatening situation they started to shoot on the people on the Dam.
I ran into the Spuistraat were I could fled into a front door who was opened.
Pushed by the crowd I ended up on the top floor between frightened people.
I stood in a charming girls room: bedspread, curtains and a dressing table, everything with pink roses…..while outside the shooting went on.
Until outside was called “All is safe now” I went downstairs and realized that my bicycle was stolen. I ran away, away from the Dam.
Around I heard people talk that there were fallen many deceased. On the Koningsplein I saw a man walking with my bicycle, I recognized the child’s seat. The man gave the bicycle at once back and I went home relieved.
A bit further on the Leidseplein everybody was still celebrating nobody know about the disaster on the Dam.