Forgive – Never forget

Memoirs of a returned, 1993

My name is Jannes Priem, born 10 December 1925 in Putten (Gld.), I come from a family of 11 children, my father and mother, my older sister and brother are now deceased.

I was on 1 October 1944 (after the attack on a German officer and the reprisals that followed) arrested along with my brother P.J. Morren on the border of Wells and Nykerk, with a farmer bottom of the box bed in the living room. We were with the bayonet removed from the bedstead, and then we had some 5 km walk with heavy machine guns drums on the shoulders trudging, to the village where we were put against the wall of the church. There were already 6 at 7 people. We heard there that when they 11 or 12 subjects had, this would then be executed. Fortunately, it did not come that far.

On 30 September, the day before the raid, had there been an air raid on a German transport on Continuing Huizer Street, and after the attack we were to look with a pair of copper tubes, I had three found and put in my pocket but forgot it at home there to explain, so when I picked up was, the three shells were still in my pocket and that was me at that time not good. How to get rid of these things as soon? But when I invented an excuse and told the guard, who ever walked up and down, I need to pee, and I got it together to go pee in the haystack of Stalhouderij Van Dam after much urge.

I did not know how soon I had to get tubes in the hay and when it was finally succeeded, I am instead of returning to the wall, walked to school and walked there just inside. Later in the evening came also the other men who stood, within the school and later had all the men from the school to the church, because the Germans had all the women and children sent home. Sleep there that night not many come. You were anxious and afraid, because what was going to happen to us, nobody knew.

The next morning by Pastor Holland only communicated what had actually happened. Then we have a few psalms sung and then we heard of Fullriede what would happen to us. All were taken to the concentration camp Amersfoort. During our trip to the station we had to always lie down on command and error; as the train was ready and we were like cattle loaded.

In Amersfoort, we still have potatoes harvesting the first few days and never was checked, So I had in my pocket three potatoes, hoping that there was no control. But unfortunately it was there that night or checked, so I had bad luck.

I'm right with a bat on my head I had and as punishment 3 days in the “Rosary” seated. That is a circular arc of barbed wire, about 5 at 6 meters long, only the last part was such 1,5 meters long, there was some straw on the ground you could lie and 3 times daily then entered the camp executioner, “Kotella” called, and then you had to crawl on your knees come forward and say five times: “I will not steal”, then again you got the necessary caning and then you had to crawl back again and that has lasted three days. Then I had to go back to work, this was my first contact, but I was broken on the wheel when I came out again.

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