Memories of World War Two: a walk from the Anne Frank House to the Dutch Resistance Museum
On 15 May 1940, German troops occupied Amsterdam. For five long years, from May 1940 to May 1945, the city remained under German control. The material damage inflicted during that time was relatively limited, but the war claimed many victims and changed people’s lives forever. In 1940, the residents of Amsterdam had to get used to soldiers marching the streets, the black-out rules and press censorship. From 1941, the atmosphere became even more grim. The city’s large Jewish population was gradually excluded from public life and eventually deported to concentration camps. Food and fuel became scarce. Cars disappeared from the streets. The low point was the long and cold ‘Hunger Winter’ of 1944/1945. In a mass hunt for heating fuel, trees were cut down in the streets and windows and doors ripped from the homes of deported Jews. The persecution of the Jews cost Amsterdam 60,000 of its Jewish residents, almost one-tenth of the city’s entire population. During the Hunger Winter, 5,000 Amsterdam residents died of hunger and cold. There was little resistance during the first years. The occupation did not seem so bad and most Amsterdam residents were waiting to see what would happen. But the terror increased and the resistance became more organised. What happened in Amsterdam during the war years? And what marks did the war leave in the streets? Discover the answers to these questions during this walk or follow the route by tram with the aid of the map. The route ends in the Dutch Resistance Museum (Verzetsmuseum), where the atmosphere of the war years is recreated.Illustration: From 10 May to 15 May 1940, German troops fought to occupy the Netherlands. A German plane was hit by anti-aircraft guns over Amsterdam and dropped its bombs on the corner of Groenburgwal-Herengracht. It destroyed 12 houses and killed 44 people. Walk: ca. 1.5 hours Tram 14: ca. 15 minutes (Westermarkt stop - Artis stop)
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