Willem F. van Breen

I became emotional  when I read the column  where Tony van der Meulen mentioned the German shooting on the Dam on May 7 1945 in comparison with the incident on May 4 2010.
During that devastating incident,  I (85) was present at that time. They were also my first emotional thoughts when I saw the panic on the Dam May 4 2010 on the television, caused by a scream by some kind of idiot.
Immediately May 7 1945 comes back into my mind and I saw again the people who were celebrating their freedom, taking cover for the fire from the officers of the German Kriegsmarine from the Groote Club at the
corner of the Dam and Kalverstraat. I stood nearby the barrel organ that had been playing cheerful tunes. Behind the organ were laying a few people on the ground.
I don’t know if they were hit or looking for cover. With a few jumps I managed to reach the park  that afterwards becomes the place for the National Monument.
On foot I followed the tracks of a few Canadian jeeps that drove in the direction of the Dam. Until that moment the Canadians keep themselves on the background.
In the jeeps were supply officers. Finally the Domestic Armed Forces succeeded in  stopping the shooting. Leaving a trace of wounded and dead people.
Just two days May 7, after the signing of the capitulation in Wageningen! Nobody has heard a thing about those criminal officers.
The above mentioned barrel organ stands now in the Dutch Resistance Museum in Amsterdam, including bullet holes.

Willem F. Breen

Brabants Dagblad May 7 2010

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