Ton Gräber

Ton Gräber was 19 years old on that day, and member of the scouting.

Underneath his report of that day:
According an appointment the members of our group gathered in the morning at the house of Co Bosman, while I went to the headquarters to receive orders. We received different orders, among others I had to go to the F.O.N.
At 11:30am there was nothing more to do. Leo and I walked in the direction of the Dam were just the first Candians arrived in tanks. We made ourselves useful by clearing the road with our sticks.
Shortly more scouts arrived and with them we kept the roads free by building fences. The crowd behind us kept growing but there came no more tanks.
Only the Domestic Armed Forces took position in front of the Palace. Until 03:00pm everything was quiet. Suddenly some shots sounded. The crowd behind us started to move a little but when from all sides stenguns and machine-guns rattled there was panic. The Germans shot from the roof of the Groote Club into the crowd by which many casualties fell. Everybody tried to escape from that dangerous situation, through this people got into a tight corner and many were overrun. The scouts acted brave. They assisted the casualties and calmed them down. The worst of the situation was that the people who were standing outside the firing range, returned to the Dam, because they wouldn’t miss anything.
Together with the police we urged the people to walk on but the order was  not followed until new salvos sounded through the street. To my luck I had my first aid kit with me so that I could help the casualties.
When the Dam was empty I went into the Nieuwe Kerk were it was crowded with refugees. The scouts guarded the exits because the shooting between the Germans and the Domestic Armed Forces was still going on, therefore the situation outside was dangerous. With some scouts we searched in the church looking for wounded people and to help them. Also various unconscious people were brought to the improvised hospital room. About 04:30pm it became quiet outside, after which we let the people leave in groups of 10 persons. When our work finished in the church we controlled the traffic by enclosing the streets around the Dam.
After picking up my bike I went home for dinner and then I went to the Amstelveenseweg (were also a shooting took place) to help with the fences.
This ‘black day’ in the liberation days has proved that the Scouting movement still capable is to help were it’s needed. Here we needed them and they did their duty.
If Baden Powell would have been alive he would have said: “Well Done Boys”.

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