July 1943: People hiding on the Molen Street

In the autumn of 1940, anti-Jewish measures became alarming. A ‘J’ was added to the identity cards of Jews and, they had to wear a yellow Star of David. After some time, the raids began, and the occupiers deported Jews to concentration camps. The first major raids in Amsterdam took place in 1941, and continued until 1943. 

People in hiding in Amsterdam
The Jewish family Leijdesdorff fled the capital and the group of four went into hiding in Ede. Unfortunately, the father, mother, and two daughters could not stay together as a family. That would be too dangerous. The children aged four and six were placed with a young married couple in Ede, Gerrit van den Berg and Co Welbedacht. Father and mother Isaäc and Sarina Leijdesdorff go into hiding with forwarding agent Karssenberg on the Molen Street, along the railway line, Kippenlijntje.

For three months Hanneke and Jenneke live safely with Gerrit and Co on the Paasberger Road. They play with the other children from the neighbourhood and the eldest goes to school. The children are clearly in danger when it appears that the house is being watched more closely by the Security Service and they have to leave. Two days later Co brings the two girls back to Amsterdam, where an acquaintance takes care of them.

Arrests
Friday evening 9th of July 1943, a car stops on the Molen Street. Five Germans get out and surround the detached house of Karssenberg. Under the threat of a pistol, the Garrison Commander enters the house. The forwarder's wife still struggles, but she can't do anything. With a lot of uproar and force, the house is searched from top to bottom. Karssenberg and three Jewish people in hiding are arrested, including Isaäc and Sarina.

Tragic transport 
The detainees must walk to the Garrison Commander's office on Stations Road. Hours later, during the night, they will be transferred to the barracks. Karssenberg eventually ends up in the concentration camp in Vught, where he has to stay for seven and a half months. 

The next day, the three Jewish prisoners go to Amsterdam, and from there they are sent on to Camp Westerbork. This is not their final destination either. They were transported to Sobibor and immediately upon arrival they were gassed on the 23rd of July 1943. Both girls Leijdesdorff survived the war. 

Memories of war locations