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July 29, 2021

30 Amazing Photos Capture Street Scenes of Amsterdam During World War II

Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 and took control of the country. Some Amsterdam citizens sheltered Jews, thereby exposing themselves and their families to a high risk of being imprisoned or sent to concentration camps.

More than 100,000 Dutch Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps, of whom some 60,000 lived in Amsterdam. In response, the Dutch Communist Party organized the February strike attended by 300,000 people to protest against the raids.

At the end of the Second World War, communication with the rest of the country broke down, and food and fuel became scarce. Many citizens travelled to the countryside to forage. Dogs, cats, raw sugar beets, and tulip bulbs—cooked to a pulp—were consumed to stay alive. Many trees in Amsterdam were cut down for fuel, and wood was taken from the houses, apartments and other buildings of deported Jews.

In the spring of 1945, Canadian forces liberated Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands.

These amazing photos from janwillemsen captured street scenes of Amsterdam in 1940 and 1941.

Amsterdam Prins Hendrikkade/Centraal Station, 1940

Amsterdam Amstel near Hogesluis, 1940

Amsterdam Amstel, 1940

Amsterdam bridge Leidsestraat, 1940

Amsterdam Damrak, 1940

Amsterdam Jordaan street orchestra, 1940

Amsterdam Jordaan street, 1940

Amsterdam Leidsebosje, 1940

Amsterdam Minervaplein, 1940

Amsterdam Nieuwendijk, 1940

Amsterdam Nieuwmarkt, 1940

Amsterdam old women's house, 1940

Amsterdam Pierement, 1940

Amsterdam pigeon keeper, 1940

Amsterdam pile driving, 1940

Amsterdam Prinseneiland, 1940

Amsterdam Prinsengracht facades, 1940

Amsterdam Prinsengracht, 1940

Amsterdam Reguliersgracht at night, 1940

Amsterdam Reguliersgracht during winter, 1940

Amsterdam south skyscraper, 1940

Amsterdam street scenes, 1940

Amsterdam within Amstel, 1940

Amsterdam within Amstel, 1940

Amsterdam C&A, 1941

Amsterdam in autumn, 1941

Amsterdam peel cart, 1941

Amsterdam pony taxi, 1941

Amsterdam pony taxi, 1941

Amsterdam tulip sale, spring 1941


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