I live with my family in an apartment complex at Nieuwe Kerkstraat 61-G. I feel connected to my neighbourhood, so I know that this part of Amsterdam was once home to many of the city’s Jewish residents. I’ve read stories about when it was a vibrant yet poor neighbourhood, in particular the stretch of Nieuwe Kerkstaat between the Amstel River and Weesperstraat. I realize that all too often, and a feeling of guilt takes hold of me somewhere deep inside.
Each year our family visits the commemoration ceremony at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, to give that sense of guilt a place and to share the sorrow still felt by surviving relatives of Shoah victims. Many of them lived here in this neighbourhood, and the character of the place would be so different today if they could have lived.
That is why I solemnly remember the Groenteman-Kroonenberg family, who lived at our address around 1940.