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Published on May 22, 2013
This DVD is digitally converted from the original broadcast tape master of a 30 minute documentary which I produced in Holland in 1997. This is a very personal project with one simple objective: to pass along to future generations awareness of the horrors of Nazi Germany's systematic genocide in WWII ... knowledge so easily lost and forgotten unless we keep it alive. After you have viewed this DVD, I hope you will place it in a school, library, church, synagogue, or other permanent place where it will be shown and viewed again and again for decades to come.
The idea for producing this documentary grew from my many trips to Amsterdam and the urging from a close friend there, Harry Moinat, that I interview Jewish survivors of the Dutch Holocaust before they all died. The more I learned the more I had to tell inspiring Amsterdam's story of resistance and determination.
Harry introduced me to a contemporary of Anne Frank, Jaap vanVelzen, who was just 12 years old when he escaped from his Nazi captors by brazenly slipping away from a kindergarten where he and other children were being held awaiting shipment to the death camps. After his escape he hid in the south of the Netherlands till war's end. He was the only member of his family to survive. Jaap later became a successful businessman and noted scholar regarding the Dutch Holocaust.
His childhood recollections are woven into this portrait of the systematic roundup of Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and the mentally impaired and their shipment out of Amsterdam using the city's own streetcars to deliver them at night to waiting Nazi freight cars at Amsterdam's central train station. From there they were shipped to Westerbork concentration camp before being sent on to their deaths at Auschwitz and other German death camps.
I wrote, shot, edited and narrated this documentary to share with you an understanding of why Amsterdam is truly "The City That Remembers."