Nazi Germany invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 and took control of the country. Some Amsterdam citizens sheltered Jews, thereby exposing themselves and their families to a high risk of being imprisoned or sent to concentration camps.
More than 100,000 Dutch Jews were deported to Nazi concentration camps, of whom some 60,000 lived in Amsterdam. In response, the Dutch Communist Party organized the February strike attended by 300,000 people to protest against the raids.
At the end of the Second World War, communication with the rest of the country broke down, and food and fuel became scarce. Many citizens travelled to the countryside to forage. Dogs, cats, raw sugar beets, and tulip bulbs—cooked to a pulp—were consumed to stay alive. Many trees in Amsterdam were cut down for fuel, and wood was taken from the houses, apartments and other buildings of deported Jews.
In the spring of 1945, Canadian forces liberated Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands.
These amazing photos capture street scenes of Amsterdam in 1940 and 1941.