Ice-skating in prewar Netherlands
- Film Title
- Arnhem -- Meijer de Groot -- home movies
- Event Date
- US Holocaust Memorial Museum, gift of Louis de Groot
The de Groot family ice-skates on a large pond (either Winter 1939-1940 or 1940-1941) in Sonsbeek Park. Rachel is with her classmates, while Louis attempts skating for the first time. There are hundreds skating in the BG as the children struggle to skate with blades strapped to their boots. They drink cocoa or hot anis milk delivered on a sled. They resume skating towards the camera, some doing better than others.
Record last modified: 2018-11-27 11:04:35
This page: https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1004341
Also in De Groot Family Collection
Louis de Groot donated one reel of 8mm color and black and white film showing prewar Jewish life in The Netherlands. Street and park scenes in the city of Arnhem and surrounding tourist sites feature several members of the de Groot family, including the donor and his sister. The family separated and went into hiding in 1942. Louis survived, but his parents and sister died at Auschwitz after being denounced. The family film was stored in a photo studio safe that was damaged by bombing, but Louis was able to retrieve it after the war. One reel of 8mm film (23 minutes)
Rachel and cousin Henny Cohen spent the summer of 1941 at the farm of Steef and Bertha van der Pol in Zwartebroek when vacation opportunities for Jews were severely limited. Bertha had been the children's nanny before 1936/7. Louis and his parents visited Rachel one day, along with cousin Florence de Groot, who spent her summer vacation with the de Groots in Arnhem while her father was in jail. The children, older now, play at a farm outdoors. Louis pulls Florence in a wagon, with a string attached to the wagon and to his belt, he plays the horse. The de Groot family is walking about, in clogs. Pigs and cattle are walking about. Good MS, Rachel and Henny pose for the camera while trying to stand up straw. The others, including Louis with glasses and the farmer's son William, wave to the camera while in the straw. A woman, Bertha?, milks a cow with no bucket. A man, Steef?, brings two buckets on a board on his shoulders. Rachel milks the cow. Henny milks the cow. Louis milks the cow. They carry the buckets back, with some of the children trying to do it. Then everyone skips towards the camera. Cousin Florence sits on a rock, chickens in the BG, and pretends to smoke a cigarette. Louis pulls more children around in the wagon once more. Children chasing after calves. They feed the cattle, and Florence attempts to lead a cow by a string attached to the cow's horns. The children, then Louis, pretend to milk the cow.
Mother Sophia de Groot's sister Esther, her husband Max van der Stam, and their son Freddy visited Arnhem probably in 1937. The entire family rides a carousel in a city park. 01:21:30 CU from behind of Max, the man with a hat, watching the carousel go around. In another round, the riders include one of Sophia's sisters, Mietje Vigevano and her small white dog Tippy, next to Freddy, cousin Henny, and Louis. 01:21:53 Crowds of people moving along sculpted flower gardens in Sonsbeek in summer 1940. Cut to a brief glimpse of a different park outing with Sophia walking the family's small black dog. Back to Sonsbeek gardens in bloom with the teahouse in the BG. 01:22:29 Newborn baby in a carriage, then CUs as it is held by mother. Flowers in the park again.
Louis and Rachel on new bicycles in the alley adjacent to their house on Rijnstraat in Arnhem. They ride towards the camera waving. Cut to various family members in suits, along with Louis and Rachel, walking towards the camera on Rijnstraat, then in the alley, on the occasion of a visit by Meijer de Groot's brothers, Salomon, Izak, Mozes, and his sister, Julia van Leeuwen, and their children, Florence and Louis de Groot, Henny Cohen, and Elly van Leeuwen. The family was most likely brought together to bid farewell to cousin Louis de Groot who had prepared to illegally escape Holland for England in early May 1941. 01:04:01 LS, People's University near the back of the alley, with (from left) Mozes, Florence, Elly, and Saloman walking, Louis goofing off to their right, and Rachel, Julia, and Henny standing by the entry door to the family home. 01:04:15 CU, Salomon de Groot with glasses and cigarette enters the house, prompted by the cameraman. Louis follows into the house.
The de Groot family walking in Sonsbeek Park. People riding bikes. An older man (Max Turksma, Meijer de Groot's bridge parter) with a cigar on a bicycle greets the cameraman. Cut to a different outing in Arnhem with a view of Castle Zypendaal, the large mansion owned by Baron von Heemstra where Audrey Hepburn and her mother lived during the war, in a field surrounded by trees. Children play with a small dog. More shots of the castle and then of a smaller building on the grounds. Back to the de Groots walking in Sonsbeek Park along paths in the forest, all of them very well dressed. 01:05:41 CU, baby in a carriage. This is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wolf Nathans, friends of the de Groot family. The family, then Rachel, push the baby carriage through the city (slowed down). 01:05:50 A German soldier is visible walking behind them. Brief shot of a sign affixed to a fence lining the street, reading "Apeldoorn" with an arrow pointing right. Another view of walking on Jansbinnensingel.
In order to earn a swimming diploma, children were required to swim in clothes other than a bathing suit. This practice became a performance followed by the participants swimming in their fancy outfits. Meijer de Groot filmed his daughter Rachel dressed as Red Riding Hood, and her friend Nel de Booys, the daughter of the camera shop owner, among other candidates. INTs, actors in costume in a dark setting. They sample cake of some sort held by someone dressed as a nurse. A young girl in a dress acting, shakes hands with another young girl. A group dressed identically in flowing dresses and bonnets dance about.
EXT, children (much younger) walking on a ledge surrounded by large boulders in Park Sonsbeek, including Louis, Rachel, and cousin Henny Cohen. The family visits the park on the occasion of a visit by Leentje (Sophia's oldest sister) and Alexander Cohen. Walking in the park and waving. CU, Alexander nodding. Lots of family walking towards the camera along paths. Someone threshing wheat. 01:07:47 At Burger's Dierenpark, the zoo in Arnhem, a wolf walks back and forth behind a chain-link fence. Then a bear is seated like a person, roaring.
Table and chairs set outside in summer, with the de Groot family and neighbors seated and drinking tea at Thee Schenkerij, a teagarden in Sonsbeek, probably in 1936. The neighbors owned a shoestore also on the Rijnstraat. An older man lights a cigar. Children, including Louis and Rachel, playing and crawling towards the camera. More shots of the adults lunching. Louis wearing a tea cozy as a funny hat marches towards the camera, simulating Napolean Bonaparte. MS, a mansion, and cows at the model farm in Sonsbeek. 01:09:20 Outside near the city street Jansbuiten Singel, mother Sophia posing for the camera, in 1937 or 1938. An outdoor scene with bicycle traffic, fountains, and Sophia walking towards the camera again and again, waving. Sophia took walks to recover from surgery.
Outdoors at Sonsbeek Park in Arnhem, rows of houses around a field in a square. Mansion at top of hill. Rachel picks flowers from that field. Rachel and Louis play leapfrog on the sidewalk as other de Groot family members walk towards the camera behind them. This road is on the way to Sonsbeek and the waterfall. 01:10:44 Large boulders and waterfall as the children walk along that precarious path. They wave to the camera as they attempt to navigate to the base of the waterfall, equipped with bread to feed the ducks. Children at the top of the waterfall. Louis splashing at a duck in a large pond. Rachel does somersaults in the grass. They meet up with father Meijer's friends, Mr. and Mrs. David Kruijer and their large dog. The dog runs towards the camera, and the children follow. 01:12:15 Indoor scene, dark, during a visit by mother Sophia's youngest sister Mietje and her husband Alfons (Abraham) Vigeveno and their dog Tippy. Members of the de Groot family (Louis, Mietje, Rachel, and behind them, Abraham standing) pose for a portrait, holding the small white dog and waving to the camera. 01:12:30 More members of the de Groot family walking towards the camera with Tippy, along a path in Arnhem towards the bridge across the Rhine. This bridge became the center of the Battle of Operation Market Garden in September 1944. Children, including cousin Henny Cohen, walk down brick steps. MS, a boat in the river. Children continue along brick ramp.
Children play near the de Groot home and go swimming; extended family goes to Sonsbeek Park in prewar Arnhem
Louis sweeps a sidewalk alley adjacent to his house with a push broom. Rachel and friend Nel de Booys, the daughter of the camera shop owner who kept these films for safekeeping during the war, carry one another in the alley as Louis sweeps (slowed down). They smack at each other playfully. They then carry Louis in front of the de Groot store on Rijnstraat. An older man and trusted employee of the de Groot family store, Herman Langenbach, carries Louis on his shoulders, flanked by the rest of the children. Louis and Rachel spent their first night in hiding at the home of Mr. Langenbach. Another shot of children walking towards the camera in the alley, including children of the caretakers of People's University near the end of the alley. Then, a young child is helped to walk by Rachel and another girl. 01:14:17 At the boulders in Sonsbeek, mother Sophia de Groot walks along the precarious path, recovering from surgery, probably in 1937 or 1938. 01:14:32 Rachel and Louis swimming in an indoor pool, Sportfondsenbad, on Boekhorststraat, one Sunday morning. They walk out of the building, two other boys of similar age stand next to the doorway entrance. Rachel and Louis sit down for tea with an older woman, Jet Salomon, the proprietor of a strict kosher store on Nieuwstad in Arnhem, who loved to spoil the children with sweets in her garden. 01:15:14 Louis's paternal grandmother, Rachel de Groot-Bloemendaal, in a black coat walks down the alley sidewalk in Spring 1938, and pushes the doorbell. She walks into the de Groot house. Sophia and her mother in law walk outside along the bank of a large pond with a fountain in it near the city street Jansbuiten Singel, probably in 1937 or 1938 when Sophia needed to take walks after recovering from surgery. They continue on to Park Sonsbeek with David Bloemendaal (the elder Rachel's brother) and his wife, walking along the boulder path, and then posing for the camera. The elders relax on benches along the path and enjoy a beer at the park teagarden, Thee Schenkerij.
A dog, then large groups of well dressed people walking in Sonsbeek Park on a pathway next to massive flowerbeds of various colors. This was the first time that flower bulbs were planted in Sonsbeek, which merited the purchase of color film by Meijer de Groot. This was the only color film he made. Sophia de Groot walks the dog, another dog runs up to join it. Meijer then walks the same dog. The dog runs off, and Louis, his sister Rachel, mother Sophia, and Eva Haller (a Kindertransport girl from Vienna who stayed with the de Groots) walk towards the camera. Two dogs begin to play in front of them. 01:01:44 LS, the famous and very popular waterfall in Sonsbeek Park. MS, pond and the reflection of the trees in it. A swan swims through the middle. Louis with the family dog on a rock overlooking the pond, where there was a footbridge.
Parade in the city of Arnhem, filmed from the front of the de Groot family-owned hardware and electrical appliance shop on Rijnstraat. Merchant-owned horse-drawn carriages and automobiles adorned in flowers and filled with people drive past a large crowd on the street for the annual flower corso. People on bicycles, then young men and women in blazers on a sports team walk by following a float with an outline of a discus thrower on it. 01:02:32 CU, float with a sign, partially deciphered as "van Zoon Boerden Brood... de Groot..." More cars, a bus, and policemen on horseback drive by.