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Allied bombing of the Fokker factory in Amsterdam-Noord in July 1943

Stichting Historisch Centrum Amsterdam Noord (HCAN)
Time period: 1943
Number of interviews: 7
Accessibility: available online
Transcripts: summaries
Period of interviews: 2010

In July 1943, the Allies tried to drop bombs on the Fokker aircraft factory in Amsterdam-North, because it was involved in the German war industry. The Allied attack on the factory largely missed its target and bombs fell on residential areas, a monastery and a church. There were more than 200 casualties, mostly civilians. Because it was allied bombs, this tragic event has always been a sensitive subject.


In this oral history project, seven witnesses of the bombing will be interviewed. Special attention is paid to the organisation of the relief effort, which for the most part had to be started from the centre of Amsterdam. A number of interviewees discuss the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Ritakerk parish, which was hit during the celebration.


In July 1943, Amsterdam-Noord was targeted three times by Allied attacks, which were aimed at the camouflaged Fokker factory that looked like a friendly residential area. On Saturday 17 July, 41 Flying Fortresses of the inexperienced American Eighth Airborne Army went into action. Not a single bomb hit Fokker and 152 civilians were killed. Of the hundreds of wounded, many died later from their wounds. On Sunday 25 July, 10 British Mitchell bombers did hit the Fokker aircraft factory and largely reduced the complex to ashes. On Wednesday 28 July it was the Free French who attacked. This attack cost the lives of 17 more civilians in Noord and the devastation was enormous.