Wartime ID exhibition in Amsterdam

Before the Second World War, the Netherlands' residents could choose whether they wanted to carry ID with them. But this all changed after the German invasion of 1940; the following year, wartime ID cards became compulsory, and the cards of Jewish residents were marked with a large 'J'. Naturally, they became a lethal instrument when the Nazis began rounding up Jews.

The inventor of the then-state-of-the-art ID cards – Jacob Lentz – was sure that his cards could not be forged, but Alice Cohn had something to say about this. As part of her work for the Dutch resistance, the Jewish graphic artist worked in secret to come up with a foolproof forgery, saving hundreds of lives in the process.

This exhibition uses surviving portrait photographs, test cards, forged documents, falsely stamped papers and Cohn's tools to paint a comprehensive picture of this dark period in history.

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