ROTTERDAM - In Rotterdam and parts of Schiedam, thousands of men have been deported to Germany today. An official statement from the authorities states that the men are being deployed in German factories.

Large groups of men are on their way to the assembly points at many places in the city, which are set up by the authorities. The men are accompanied by a large group of soldiers. It would be such a thing 8.000 soldiers in the whole action.

Soldiers move from street to street and never miss a house. Thorough searches are also conducted in many places.

Today the men from the outer edges of Rotterdam and Schiedam have been transferred to the assembly points. It is expected that the center of Rotterdam will be next tomorrow.


The action started last night. All important bridges in the city were closed. It is therefore virtually impossible to get out of Rotterdam. Telephone traffic was also no longer possible. A pamphlet was also distributed in the city.

This morning all men had to stop 17 up to and including 40 years on the side of the road. They needed warm clothes, shoes, bring blankets and cutlery. Other family members, such as women and children, were not allowed outside. Men who tried to flee would be shot.

The pamphlet further stated that the daily allowance would consist of "good food.", smoking articles and five guilders'. The remaining relatives would also be taken care of.

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Assembly points

The men are gathered at about ten locations in and around Rotterdam, like at De Kuip, by Sluisjesdijk, the Nenijto site, the Stock Exchange and the tax building. How the men will be transported to Germany is not yet entirely clear, but some will probably go by rail and water.

“In boats in the Lek- and IJsselhaven and in the new marine barracks on the Toepad the people were brought together. In the course of today, large groups will leave on foot in the direction of Gouda ”, 

(The Free Press, 11-11-1944)

It is not clear whether men have escaped their fate.

Hoe ging het verder?

The estimates are that in the raid of Rotterdam between the 52.000 of the 70.000 men from Rotterdam and Schiedam have been deported. It was the first major raid in our country. In later raids, the surprise was less great and more people managed to escape or hide.

Van de 50.000 arrested men went there 20.000 on foot to Utrecht, 20.000 by ship and 10.000 by train. Most of the men went to Germany, only a part (10.000) ended up in the east of the Netherlands.


What was now the main reason for the raid was, is difficult to figure out. There were several, from a German perspective, to come up with good reasons to get the men out of Rotterdam.

Officially the Germans needed men to keep the battered war industry up to standard.

In addition, due to the advancing Allies in the south, the group of men is a possible danger to the Germans. These men could resist and make it difficult to defend Rotterdam. How great that fear is, is clear from the letter that NSB mayor Müller sends to his supporters a day after the raid. He asks whether everyone wants to make sure that they have a bicycle at hand, because a flight from Rotterdam must be able to take place very suddenly and quickly.

Van de 52.000 deported Rotterdammers arrived 410 for life. In Germany, a total of 24.500 en 29.000 Dutch forced laborers lost their lives.