The deportations to Auschwitz have begun

July 15, 1942 Amsterdam

In July 1942, at the same time as Margot Frank, about 4,000 Jews were summoned to report for ‘unemployment relief work under police supervision’ or, in other words, forced labour.

Just like with the Frank family, sometimes only the minors in a family received a call-up. Many people did not trust the authorities and decided not to register. The German police responded by raiding South Amsterdam and the centre of the city on 14 July. Approximately 700 people were arrested. They were released when 200 people reported for work after a few days.

The next day, the first train left Amsterdam Central Station for the Westerbork transit camp, carrying 962 Jews. On that same day, the first train drove from Westerbork to the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp, with 1137 Jews on board. One week later, two more trains ran to the transit camp. All through July of 1942, trains ran from Westerbork to Auschwitz, with thousands of Jews on board.

Because too few people reported for deportation after receiving their call-ups, the Nazis held raids to pick up additional people. They cordoned off streets, arrested people in the streets, or picked them up from home. They also threatened to send people who failed to report to the infamous Mauthausen concentration camp, which was considered a death sentence. Later, the Nazis were assisted by the Amsterdam police to pick up Jews from their homes.