Access to the militarised zone
Initially, the militarised zone had twelve gateways and anyone could pass in and out. This changed in September 1943 when temporary wooden bridges spanning the anti-tank ditch were demolished and ferries stopped running.
To enter the zone, people now had to show both identity papers and a special pass called an Ausweis. Seven entrances remained: Houtrust, Scheveningseweg, Witte Brug, Javabrug, Zoo, Malieveld and Benoordenhoutseweg. The last two of these were defended by mini-tanks.
Residents who were not required to service the militarised zone had to move house. People who were allowed to remain or required to work in the zone were issued with an Ausweis. Strict checks began on 1 December 1943 but fake passes were soon in circulation. The checks became less strict in the final months of the war, when liberation was clearly on the way.