Oral History

Jerry von Halle describes hiding in Amsterdam

In 1933 Jerry's family moved from Hamburg to Amsterdam. The Germans invaded the Netherlands in 1940. In 1941, Jerry's brother perished in Mauthausen. Jerry and his parents went into hiding first in Amsterdam and then in a farmhouse in the south. The Gestapo (German Secret State Police) arrested Jerry's father in 1942, but Jerry and his mother managed to return to their first hiding place. They were liberated in Amsterdam by Canadian and Jewish Brigade troops.


When I got back to Amsterdam, I got on the phone and I called my, uh, my teacher, it's the only person I knew. Not the only person I knew, but the only person I knew who might be able to help us. And the teacher...I called him on the phone and I said, "Here we are. This is what happened. My father was arrested, my mother and I are here." And again without, without thinking for one second, he says, "Come right over." So this is 1943. We are walking acr...clear across Amsterdam from the railroad station, and we wind up...we wind up...uh...in, back at Mr. In't Hout's home. Here again, this little...this little apartment--it's a, it's a city apartment--we were there and, uh, we stayed in one room. My mother and I stayed in that room for two and a half years. Never left the room. Never saw...never saw fresh air. And it's, it's a strange feeling. You know even a prisoner is allowed every day to exercise.


  • US Holocaust Memorial Museum Collection
View Archival Details

This content is available in the following languages

Thank you for supporting our work

We would like to thank Crown Family Philanthropies and the Abe and Ida Cooper Foundation for supporting the ongoing work to create content and resources for the Holocaust Encyclopedia. View the list of all donors.