On 11 May 1940 the very first bomb to fall on Amsterdam, which landed in Blauwburgwal, left my grandfather an invalid. During the war years he saw people being executed on Apollolaan in Amsterdam. The Germans made him watch this happening, or else they would have executed him too. My grandfather helped a Jewish family, the Polaks, go into hiding. On Liberation Day, he saw Germans throwing women and babies out of windows on Munt in Amsterdam. That stayed with him for the rest of his life. He always talked about what he’d seen and experienced during the war. In late April and early May my grandfather would always cry, as the memories from that period were often too much for him.
My grandfather (Aldert Meertens) died at the age of 88.