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Bombardment at Scheveningen

Philip Gans interview by Dr. Carolyn Ellis

PG: When the war broke out on May tenth, I was in Scheveningen. There were bombardments, and I can still see from the house—we slept on the second floor—the parachuting. The Germans parachuted outside of Scheveningen, and anti-aircraft guns shot down many German planes. We went to look at them on the beach.

CE: But you still were in the boarding school at this point?

PG: Oh, yeah. I’m at the boarding school for I’d say close to two years, all of sixth to seventh grade. And when the war was—well, there were bombardments. I remember one night, next thing I knew, I was on the floor because there was a big bomb had fell in the middle of the street. Maybe three, four, five houses from where we lived. No houses were damaged. There was a big crater in the ground and it threw me out of bed, and everything was—sirens went and we went downstairs with a pillow over our head. But the buildings were never damaged where we lived.

And finally, fifteenth of May [1940], when Holland surrendered to Germany. The Germans walked through the streets, and they looked like normal people to me. I didn’t realize that it was bad, but my parents and the elders, they were worried because they didn’t like the Germans and they didn’t think it was good. But to me, they looked like normal people.


Bombardment at Scheveningen