1928 Amsterdam
Born the eldest of three children.
1940 Amsterdam
War. I only made it to the 5th grade before our school was seized by the Germans.
1942 Amsterdam
Signed up at the hospital to help out because I would get to eat each day. Also, as a Catholic sister I could then walk down the street after eight o'clock in the evening without being harassed by the Germans.
1943 Amsterdam
Boys: My father wouldn't allow me to talk with boys, but my mother secretly pushed lipstick in my hand and brushed some powder from the wall on my face.
1944 Amsterdam
There was one tall boy in particular, whom my father wouldn't let me be alone with. We went together to the Brouwersgracht to go dancing.
1946 Amsterdam
I married that boy, and we went to live together at my grandpa's house.
1953 Amsterdam
We ended up having one son and two grandchildren.
1985 Europe
I was so scared during my first flight. We visited Norway, Turkey, Switzerland, Austria, Italy and Bulgaria among other places.
2006 Amsterdam
My husband passed away - our last trip was to Turkey.
Please note: all conversations will be assigned randomly


Ondergronds is named for those exceptional conversations below the surface.

While travelling through Amsterdam on a daily basis, we pass by hundreds of strangers and rarely get a chance to connect. Ondergronds allows you to have a real conversation with one of those strangers – perhaps the connection will last, perhaps it may inspire other conversations on your daily travels.

About the team:

Julien Thomas developed urban interventions and creative civic engagement strategies in Vancouver, and graduated from the Sandberg Instituut in 2016.

Webdesign: Fabian Hijlkema

Photography: Coco Plooijer

Ondergronds is an initiative of the Knowledge Mile Coalition, a community of knowledge institutions, companies, organisations and residents working together along the Wibautstraat and Wesperstraat from Amstelplein to Nieuwmarkt.


Do you have questions, want to participate, or want to set up an Ondergronds project in your city? Feel free to contact us.

We are

  • Gemeente Amsterdam

  • Knowledge Mile Coalition

  • Amsterdam Boiling

  • GVB

  • Humans of Amsterdam