During the Second World War 6 million Jews were murdered across Europe by the German occupiers. Rose Jakobs was a Jewish girl who went into hiding during the occupation of the Netherlands. Like Anne Frank she wrote a diary. She was one of the few Jews that survived. Unfortunately she was killed by a bomb fragment just after the liberation of Nijmegen.
During the Second World War Jews were persecuted across Europe by the German occupiers. At first they were confronted with discrimination but this would soon turn to deportation and extermination. It resulted in the murder of about 6 million Jews.
Over 100.000 Dutch Jews were murdered. Rose Jakobs was one of the many Dutch Jews who had to go into hiding to stay alive. Like Anne Frank, Rose was a German girl. She had fled Germany with her family looking for a safer place to stay. After the German occupation of the Netherlands she wasn’t safe here either. She went into hiding in Nijmegen and Beek and wrote in her diary during this entire period.
On 20 May 1943 she wrote:
“I often think that we have a very small chance to get out alive of this hell of horrors. First the chance of being discovered, and then the bombs, the Krauts. But then I often think of the night prayer: ‘The Eternal is with me and I‘ll fear no one’”
Her diary tells the story of a girl in the prime of her live who is forced to live a caged existence. Operation Market Garden meant liberation for Rose. She could finally come out of hiding but then tragedy struck. When Rose is out on the street she is hit by a bomb fragment and she dies from her wounds.
Her diary was published 55 years after her death.
The city of Nijmegen played an important role in Operation Market Garden. With two bridges across the Waal river it was vital for the Allied advance towards Arnhem and Germany later on. On 20 September 1944 U.S. troops managed to capture both bridges and liberate the city.
The National Liberation Museum 1944-1945 is located on the site where on 17 September 1944 paratroopers from the 82nd U.S. Airborne Division landed as part of Operation Market Garden. The museum holds a large collection of material concerning Operation Market Garden, the battle for the Reichswald and the Second World War in its broadest sense.
One of the main objectives of Operation Market Garden was to capture the two bridges across the Waal river in Nijmegen. This task proved to be difficult. In a desperate effort to maintain the momentum, U.S. paratroopers crossed the Waal in canvas boats. Attacking from both sides, they managed to capture the bridges intact.
Operation Market Garden managed to liberate a large part of the Netherlands, but failed in its main objective: outmaneuvering the Germans with a surprise crossing of the Rhine. The Nijmegen-Groesbeek area, conquered during Market Garden, remained in Allied hands and served as a springboard for the successful Rhineland Offensive in February 1945.