Artifacts and Art

Radio sets and BBC Broadcasts


“The Mayor and Aldermen herewith give notice that Radio sets have to be surrendered by the Jews in the school of the Van Dijckstraat”.
This was one of the headlines in the local papers, followed up by a long statement of date, hour, family name to start with letter A/ etc. including…as where to hand these radios in. Also it is mentioned in the papers that the surrendering of these sets is to be placed for safekeeping and that they will be returned later to the owners.
For the umpteenth time it is mentioned those who have to be considered as a Jew…… The reasons for Jews having to surrender their radio sets was given as they were listening to the B.B.C., the British Broadcast corporation. To prevent this, all sets had to be taken away from them. Every Jew and non-Jew naturally were listening to the British Broadcast Corporation, the only source of trustworthy information of the development of the warfare and everything in connection of this. It was an antidote as to the profound lies and misinformation given by the German press, radio. You could not help but come under the influence if you heard nothing and all day long, as to what the Germans dished up their people.
I discovered that without an antennae you could hear the B.B.C. with an expensive set, like I had. I had the bright idea of packing my Bláupunkt set with wrapping paper, deposited same high on a cupboard on the top floor, took the cord out and plugged it in. High on a chair I distinctly could hear the news reports from London. With a raid, telephone – or door bell, the only thing you had to do, was to disconnect the cord.
Of course you had to be careful the maid was not near. It was Mien from Zutphen. Once in a bad mood, she mentioned to stop that cursing of the Germans. Never a word for or against the Germans had been made by me openly; no Jew would have had the pluck to say or criticize about the Germans! Our neighbor only listened when the maid was out. He placed the set on the floor in the far corner of the sitting room and once peering thru the curtains caught him lying on the floor with his ear next to the loudspeaker. What a sight this big, tall man lying on his belly!
Now this listening would be all over. I had to do all the clerical work for my brother.
We had a beautiful Blaupunkt set.
You had to buy a form for 10 cents to fill out all particulars.
In early times when there was war, the enemy stole, pilfered, smashed everything to pieces. Now they also stole and pilfered. But now you have to pay for the forms and steal and pilfer.
Very sedulously I kept all the particulars of the 4 lamps Blaupunkt sets. Of course it was not allowed to exchange your set for an inferior set of someone else. At the Van Dijkstreet No. 55 school, you had to give in writing that the set handed in, was your own.
Naturally you got a receipt. This was a printed receipt, specially printed for this occurrence, dated April 1941 and which also read:
“This receipt to be kept carefully and after calling up to bring along”.
At the right corner space for the approval of the set by the Hague City officials. In a few days time I got the receipt and they were approved!
There was quite a consternation when Mrs. Wolff, the wife of the millionaire Wolff of the big estate ” Klein Hazebroek “of Wassenaar surrendered her set. (Mr.Wolff himself, before the Germans invaded the Netherlands happened to be outside the country and wife and 2 daughters left behind).
Her gardener was supposed to take care of the set belonging to her. But instead of this he surrendered his own and kept that of his employer. Lucky for her, when summoned and giving this explanation, the official was a reliable one and nothing happened. Also a summons as of April 27 1941 in the newspapers to surrender the radio license, which supply proof of payment for the first quarter of 1941.
Moreover to supply information on a form, obtainable at the post offices and the form free of charge, that the compelled handing in of the set has been effected. Ultimately you were even glad that you had surrendered your set and everything went smooth and nothing happened!

Excerpt from the Frankenhuis Collection Memoirs, Volume 4


What a change, when with a special radio device, built to silently listen in. At the time of the news messages we took this box out and listened. No music, but always the messages. Also, not tuning, Because the Germans could figure out when a device was turned and could probe this. A box was made for it and every time we put it away and into the cupboard. You could hardly wait for it, at 1 o’clock, 6 o’clock and 8 o’clock.

It was an upheaval in life. The interference was such, that you were still able to grasp everything, if you understood English properly. Now you heard the news messages yourself and no twisting of facts, if you understood it properly with solid English and the explanation was often quite different from what you were told. The interference was annoying. The device did help something, but not by much. The Germans didn’t want you to hear the truth and they put up quite some effort to interfering the radio broadcast signal. What a criminal people they are. What a people.

Excerpt from the Frankenhuis Collection Diary Volume 1 “In Hiding”

Bruce Belfrage, broadcaster from the BBC

After the liberation, in 1946, Maurice Frankenhuis contacted Bruce Belfrage to thank him for his radio broadcasts over the B.B.C. and received an autographed photo. A sample audio clip of his broadcast above.

Excerpt from the Frankenhuis Collection Memoirs, Volume 6