On This Day – German Police Driven Out of Koko Ice Cream Parlour by Jewish Owners

Photograph courtesy of Alessio Damato.
Photograph courtesy of Alessio Damato.

In the month of February 1941, Amsterdam was the scene of some rebellious actions by the Jewish population against the Germans. Anti-Jewish measures were taken almost from the start of the occupation of the country, gradually segregating the Jews from the rest of the population.

In February 1941, anti-Jewish riots were provoked in Amsterdam by Dutch Nazi sympathisers, protected by the German authorities. This started the first, and only massive protest against the anti-Jewish measures in the Netherlands.

On this day, a unit of the Green Police patrolled in the Van Woustraat and entered an ice cream shop. They were met with great hostility as the owners of the shop chased the policemen out, spraying them in the face with burning liquid in the process. Several people were arrested, but the action made a great impression on the German occupiers.

The strike is remembered each year on February 25, with a march past the Dokwerker, the memorial made for the strike in 1951 and first revealed in December 1952. All political parties, as well as the city public transport authorities and organisations of Holocaust survivors participate in the remembrance.