In Rotterdam, there were commemorations on 13 different addresses, and a total of 1500 people came to listen to stories, not only about the persecution and deportations, but also about Jewish life before the war. The day ended with a gathering at the former WB Theatre on Nieuwe Binnenweg.
For instance in the church Breepleinkerk two gatherings took place with a total of 120 visitors, including many young people and children. They listened with great interest to the story, and most of them went up the stairs to see the hiding place. In the evening, Rotterdam’s mayor Aboutaleb held his annual speech in Laurenskerk and paid attention to the story of the hiding place behind the organ [Orgelzolders].
Some responses of visitors of Breepleinkerk:
"This has left a deep impression on me."
"In our street. This close.”
"Very nice how the story is being told and how the past is brought back to life."
Several photographs of the various gatherings follow below.
Schietbaanlaan – The commemoration in the gate of the former Israelite hospital at Schietbaanlaan. Henk and Miep Smith told about the patients of the hospital and about the personnel.
Van Beuningenstraat - Edjo Frank told in Van Beuningenstraat about his grandparents, Jonas Frank and Esther Frank-Polak, and about the escape of his father from being arrested in this house.
Avenue Concordia - Anita Frank told in Avenue Concordia about her grandparents, Lion van Dantzig and Sophia Eva Speelman, and about her mother Hanna. On the same location her mother, Hanna van Dantzig, used to live together with her parents, Lion van Dantzig and Sophia Eva Speelman, and her sister Henriette.
Burgemeester Meineszlaan – Here Thea Valk-Le Cointre (l) talked about her sister-in-law, Fransje Valk, and the Valk family. The knife, that is handed over by Annelies van Mechelen-Knetemann, was already given by Fransje Valk before the war to her grandmother. The grandmother and grandfather of Annelies van Mechelen- Knetemann lived at the same address as Fransje Valk, at Burgemeester Meineszlaan 56a.
Schieweg 91 c - Josua Ossendrijver is telling here about his family in the house where his parents used to live.
Schieweg 91 c
Graaf Florisstraat 33 b. Photograph: Harold van Mechelen – On Graaf Florisstraat 33b Mrs. Anneliese Rosenthal (89, right) tells, assisted by her daughter Annelies, the hiding story of the Rosenthal family during the war.
Graaf Florisstraat 33 b. Photograph: Harold van Mechelen.