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© Verzetsmuseum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Tools used by the resistance in the Personal Identification Card Centre in Amsterdam to forge personal documents - Occupied Netherlands, 1941-44

A pen, a rubber stamp, a typewriter, acetone. In the hands of brave individuals, these objects saved thousands during World War II. Throughout Europe, rigorous administration enabled occupying Nazi regimes to identify, deport and exterminate millions of Jews, and anyone else deemed undesirable. A new identity could mean avoiding the concentration camps. Forged documents enabled daring acts of sabotage and espionage. With the right papers it was possible to cross borders and fake ration cards, saving a person from starvation.