On my last afternoon here in Amsterdam I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, had thought I might hire a bike and cruise around when Sander from the bike tour mentioned the Resistance Museum wasn’t far away. The deal was sealed, this sort of museum and history is really my thing so off I went.
Entry is €11 and it’s worth every penny. It covers the history of the Dutch resistance during world war 2 (obviously) however it covers the Dutch WW2 experience from three perspectives : Acceptance, Resistance and Collaboration. I’d argue it adds a fourth dimension with the holocaust as well.
It starts with the premise that the Netherlands expected to remain neutral in WW2 and were shocked when invaded and how they then dealt with it until liberation and the lingering effects post liberation.
As a side note, lots of historical lessons on keeping as much personally identifying information on yourself to yourself until you are certain why it’s being collected and for what purpose. Lots of Jewish people willingly filed out forms on their ancestry thinking it was a benign question and the answers they gave eventually sent them to Auschwitz.
The overall lesson of the museum is that the majority of Dutch people resisted where they could and hampered the German war effort.
With materials in short supply this bike was fixed with a pram wheel at the front. It also meant the Germans wouldn’t confiscate the bike and send it to the fatherland as a repatriation.
When radios were banned, many were hidden to receive BBC and Radio Orange broadcasts.
The resistance patched phone lines through the telephone exchanges for clandestine communication that the Nazis never discovered.