On 10 May 1940 the German forces invaded the Netherlands. At the time, there were approximately 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands. During those chaotic days a small group of Jews managed to flee the country. Several hundred people committed
suicide. The majority of the Jews could not imagine what was going to happen to them. Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria clearly realised they were no longer safe in the Netherlands.
After the bombing of Rotterdam and the threat of bombing other cities as well, the Netherlands surrendered. Capitulation was followed by the German occupation.