Silent March and Commemoration at de Baarsjes
4 MAY 2023
St. Augustinuskerk
Attention! This event has already passed.
A commemoration and Silent March after an opening programme at Augustine Church.

After the opening programme, a silent march will take place from Augustine Church to Columbusplein. The commemoration will take place there at the square at 19:40, featuring the Westside Memorial Orchestra and a speech and poems by children from the Visserschool.


8:30: Opening programme, Augustine church
19:40: Commemoration Columbus Square

Find more information here about the memorial concert in the St Augustinus Church.


On 5 May, at 11:00 a.m., a memorial walk with stories from De Baarsjes during World War II will take place. Find more information here




On 15 May 1940, residents of De Baarsjes stand at Mercatorplein to watch the passage of German motorised units heading towards Haarlem via Surinameplein and Hoofdweg. The mood is resigned, some have tears in their eyes.

There is fear and uncertainty about the future. The German occupation brings changes. The neighbourhood is feeling the effects of the air war that is being waged. On 13 August 1940, an English bomb hits a house on Paramariboplein. The explosive goes straight through the roof, but does not detonate. Nevertheless, the havoc is enormous. Four days later, the bomb is detonated in a deep pit on the square in a controlled manner. Many windows in the area break.

Soon foodstuffs and articles begin to be rationed. Anyone wanting to do their shopping in Chasséstraat, for example, at grocer Van den Berg at number 40 or cigar shop Van Monen at number 42, must hand in rationing vouchers. The chemist at number 44 had to make do with fewer and fewer customers. He is a member of the NSB. Neighbours regard him as ‘wrong’ and look down their noses at him.

From the start, there are people who refuse to adhere to German rule and go into resistance. In the quiet Baffinstraat, at number 25, three floors up in the house of electrical fitter Jan van der Neut, the first issue of the illegal magazine Vrij Nederland is produced. It appears on 31 August 1940, on Queen Wilhelmina’s birthday, in a print run of 130 copies. Resistance follower Van der Neut is arrested on 19 April 1941 and dies in a prison in Germany shortly before liberation.

For the Jewish local residents, the first signs of Nazi persecution present themselves.  For instance, after a series of humiliating measures, the German occupiers proceeded to introduce the Star of David in early May. Two months later, the deportation of Jews to Camp Westerbork and from there to Nazi extermination camps in Poland begins. Neighbours see more and more of their Jewish neighbours being forced to leave their homes. Like Mr and Mrs Aluin of the hardware shop on the Admiraal de Ruyterweg (which is still there today). The couple were murdered in Auschwitz on 24th September 1942. Or 13-year-old Betty Bloemendal from Reinier Claezenstraat, a fellow schoolgirl of Anne Frank who is mentioned in her famous diary. She too dies in the gas chambers of Auschwitz.

In the second half of the occupation, resistance activities become increasingly dangerous. As a member of the so-called Trouw group, chemist shop owner Jacob Miedema makes his shop and home at 80 Witte de Withstraat available as the Amsterdam resistance’s correspondence address and as a venue for their secret meetings. He also keeps weapons in his house and carries out arms shipments. On Tuesday 10 January 1945, Miedema is betrayed. The chemist is transported to the House of Detention on the Weteringschans and executed without trial on 7 March 1945 in Haarlem.

on 25 June 1945, immediately after the liberation, a monument is erected in Witte de Withstraat in memory of Jacob Miedema. The executed local residents, Dirk Bons and Antonie Bons are also honoured on the plaque.  Another memorial is located at the corner of Baarsjesweg and Van Speijkstraat; a white wooden cross with the text ‘To those who fell’. The initiative for this came from D. Koene, owner of ‘Koene & Zn’s Kolenhandel. De Goede Verwachting’ in the Van Speijkstraat. Local residents raise the necessary money. In 2007, this simple memorial is temporarily placed on Columbus Square due to the construction of a mosque. When the memorial is returned to its original spot in 2018, Columbusplein residents express their desire to continue commemorating on their square. Artist Nina Rave designs a new memorial, which is unveiled in 2018. Since then, the annual commemoration of the dead has taken place here on 4 May.

Silent March and Commemoration at de Baarsjes
4 MAY 2023
St. Augustinuskerk
Amstelveenseweg 965
Part of Silent March & Commemorations
Organised by
4 en 5 Mei comité De Baarsjes
Website by HOAX Amsterdam