Who is Eva Granaada? 

by Annemarie van Dijk & Amber Zijlma

Among the images that form part of the ‘Behind the Star’ collection in the Beeldbank WO2, there are two photographs of the same woman, wearing a dark dress and a distinctive hat. The photographs were taken by National Socialist photographer Herman Heukels during the razzia (the Dutch term for the roundups of Jewish people that took place during the Nazi occupation) at Olympiaplein in Amsterdam on June 20th 1943. In March 2022, the NIOD ImageLab research team received a comment from a family member who identified the woman in the photographs as Eva Granaada.
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The caption as it appeared in the Beeldbank WO2 in March 2022 when we received the comment from the family member of Eva Granaada: "A Jewish nurse has voluntarily reported at the sports complex on Olympiaplein in Amsterdam. Her elderly patients had been arrested earlier that day. She chose to stay with them and was deported to Westerbork together with her patients. The woman did not survive the war. Olympiaplein, 20 June 1943." ["Een joodse ziekenverzorgster heeft zich vrijwillig gemeld op het sportcomplex op het Amsterdamse Olympiaplein. Haar bejaarde patiënten waren eerder die dag opgepakt. Zij verkoos bij hen te blijven en liet zich samen met haar patiënten naar Westerbork afvoeren. De vrouw overleefde de oorlog niet. Olympiaplein, 20 juni 1943."] NIOD Collection - 9673896719

Eva Granaada was born in Amsterdam on August 15, 1915. She grew up in Leeuwarden, moved to Rotterdam in 1935, and then back to Amsterdam in 1940, where she worked as a nurse at the Nederlands Israëlitisch Ziekenhuis (NIZ), a Jewish hospital at Nieuwe Keizersgracht 110.

A portrait of Eva is included as part of the Joods Monument website, an online memorial for those who were persecuted in the Netherlands during the Shoah. In this photograph, taken in 1934, Eva is shown standing in front of the Grote Jacobijnerkerk in Leeuwarden, together with two of her friends. The woman identified as Eva in this photograph looks very similar to the woman in the photographs taken at Olympiaplein. 

On the same page dedicated to Eva Granaada on the Joods Monument website, there is another photograph of a woman who is thought to be Eva. This image also appears in Jacques Presser’s Ondergang (1965), the standard work on the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands. The photograph was taken for the SS magazine Storm at the Polderweg razzia at May 26, 1943. However, it was not published in the magazine.

Several comments we received in response to the NIOD ImageLab crowdsourcing project identify this woman as Eva Granaada. Some of these comments were based on the article titled Dit is Eva Granaada published in the Rozenberg Quarterly. The photograph is also included in Stad in Oorlog (2017) by René Kok and Erik Somers, where the woman portrayed is also identified as Eva Granaada.

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The image caption as it appeared in the Beeldbank WO2: "500 Jews respond to the German call (‘Oproeping’) to report for departure to concentration camp Westerbork. For hours they waited for the special train that would take them from the station at Muiderpoort to Westerbork. Of the 7000 Jews who had to report for deportation to Westerbork on that day at the Polderweg, only 500 appeared that day, much to the annoyance of the Germans. On the left a police officer from Amsterdam, ‘who had to steer things in the right direction’." ["500 Joden geven gevolg aan de Duitse oproep ('Oproeping') en melden zich aan voor vertrek naar kamp Westerbork. Urenlang wachten zij op de speciale trein die hen vanaf Station Muiderpoort naar Westerbork zal vervoeren. Van de 7000 joden die zich die dag op de Polderweg moesten melden voor deportatie naar Westerbork, verschenen er die dag tot grote irritatie van de Duitsers slechts 500. Links een Amsterdamse politieagent 'die de zaak in goede banen moet leiden'."] NIOD Collection - 96718

The first two photographs introduced above are shown in the Beeldbank WO2 with captions that claim the images portray a nurse who volunteered to accompany her patients who would be deported. Since Eva was a JVVV (Joodse Vereniging voor Verpleging en Verzorging, or Jewish Association for Nursing and Care) nurse, a nurse of the Dutch Jewish Council, it is possible that she was present at both raids, and was sent home afterwards because she had a ‘Sperre’, an exemption, due to her position. But although the two women look alike, they have different features. This leads us to believe that one of the women is not Eva Granaada.

Do you know more about Eva Granaada, or do you recognize one of the women in the photos? Please contact us at behindthestar@niod.knaw.nl.

The prewar image taken from the Joods Monument website on the right-hand-side of the second row, is part of the family collection of Louis Cohen. We are grateful to him for his permission to include the image in this article.
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