We were going to get married

Amsterdam, The start of the war
3 september 1941

Before dressing in my wedding suit, I first looked in my father’s bed and [saw that] he was dead.

In the summer of 1940, shortly after the capitulation of the Netherlands, the German occupier started to increasingly limit the Jews’ freedom of movement. On 24 August 1940, a report was published under the supervision of Reich Commissioner Seyss-Inquart about the progress of anti-Jewish regulations. The report stated: “The action against the Jews is being prepared and will be augmented in the near future, this will include aryanizing.”

“Aryanizing” was the plan to take away all businesses from the Jews. A sizeable stack of regulations was lying ready. The rules for the name registration of all Jews had been drawn up and plans were ready to remove all Jews from the cultural life. Misleading the public was an essential part of the strategy; the regulations were carried out gradually, and in this way the Jews were insidiously deprived of their rights.