The Dutch Resistance Museum Junior, Amsterdam.

Recently we went to Amsterdam. We always like to try a museum while we’re there, and with the help of Steven, our host, we decided on the Dutch Resistance Museum Junior. They have opened a section of the museum for younger visitors, and while we weren’t sure what to expect, we knew it would be more age-appropriate for H.

Dutch Resistance Museum Junior

The Dutch Resistance Museum Junior has stories from four children who lived through the war. They all have different perspectives – you enter into each of their houses and experience their lives when they were younger.

Henk likes the war. He collects things like shrapnel.

Eva is a jew. She’s from Austria and escaped from there when the Nazi’s took over the country. Unfortunately the Nazi’s are about to take over the Netherlands.

Jan hardly sees his father. He’s a Resistance fighter, and often disappears.

Nelly’s father is involved with the Nazi’s. She can’t see a problem, and enjoys the lifestyle it brings.

Each child’s account of the war is from the perspective of how they were back then – and there’s an English Language version available. In some sections you have interactive parts where you can decide what to do.

Dutch Resistance Museum Junior Eva Schloss house

The story which has stuck with me is Eva’s. In her house Christmas presents are hidden under the floorboards (see middle picture). You sit around their kitchen table (end picture), and you’re given a choice. The Nazi’s have sent a letter demanding her (jewish) brother goes to a camp. Their only option is to go into hiding, or go to the camp – so which do you choose. We had a few chances to decide, and opinions from the characters, but ultimately you go into hiding. So you move into the next room, a narrow room where Eva and her mother hide (the father and brother hide in a different property). But then they’re caught, and moved to a concentration camp and finally Auschwitz.

It was something of a relief to find that Eva is still alive, living in London and has written books about her experience (which I have since bought) – we also found out she is Anne Frank’s stepsister, her mother having married Anne Frank’s dad after the war (her father and brother did not survive). Her brother’s artwork is on display in the main part of the Dutch Resistance Museum.

All four children are still alive, and you get to watch a video afterwards, with them speaking about their feelings and experiences and how they feel now, sixty years later. This bit really got to me, and I was in tears. As Henk said on his video, “we haven’t learned much because it still happens”. I couldn’t go to the rest of the museum for fear of crying too much. People did this to other people. The museum is full of people’s personal accounts of what happened to them during the war.

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It’s a very educational hands-on museum with a lot of interactive areas, and H remembers a lot about it, though lesser so the context. She remembers that Nelly’s father was the mayor, and remembers that Eva was sent away somewhere after hiding, but no more than that – she’s still young.

Many reviews online say this is a great accompaniment to Anne Frank’s house which explains what happened back in wartime. We couldn’t get into Anne Frank’s house as the queues were too long, whereas the Dutch Resistance Museum Junior was quite empty (children were back at school in the Netherlands when we visited). I would agree with this, for being somewhere that keeps that part of history alive and isn’t scared to visit the darker side. It’s spelt out plainly, and if H was a little bit older I’m sure she would be asking many more questions. I would highly recommend. Next time we go to Amsterdam we will get to Anne Frank’s house.

Dutch Resistance Museum Junior
The Dutch Resistance Museum Junior is inside the Dutch Resistance Museum, and is just over the road from Amsterdam Zoo, and is easy to get to. Their website is here, adults pay €10 and under 7’s go free. The site gives you a good idea of the museum too. You get a free English audio guide, and to activate it you hold it near the sensor.

Project 365 – Week 35

Sunday 23rd August. My baby turned six. We woke up in Plymouth, having booked the Travelodge there knowing we’d be going to the Eden Project the previous day. She opened her presents, we went off for a huge breakfast, then made our way back home via Stonehenge. Here she is modelling her buddingSTEM t-shirt which arrived recently – I contributed to the Kickstarter campaign they did, and gave H the t-shirt for her birthday.

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Monday 24th August. Getting Home Learning done for school. Yep, going into Year 2 it seems you get things to do over the Summer Holidays. So this is her Knight outfit. My work is done.

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Tuesday 25th August. Had to take H for a haircut and for her eye check up at the hospital, both of which went well. We have to trawl Charity shops for Enid Blyton books, and found two more. I spotted MC Miker and DJ Sven on the floor. Truly awful record (‘The Holiday Rap’) but this is what all our old 7″ records from the eighties look like now. Maybe.

bad records

Wednesday 26th August. We arrived in Amsterdam – tired after a 4am start but ready to explore a city none of us had been to. After forgetting to charge my camera battery last week, it was the first thing I did when I got home from Cornwall, so I have decent quality Miffy pictures alongside my substandard phone ones. I’m much less cross about it! Here’s one of the Miffy Statues from the Miffy Art Parade – they’re all being removed now, so there’s probably only a month or so left.

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Thursday 27th August. Utrecht. A long-standing place I’ve wanted to visit – to wander around the streets where Dick Bruna lives, to find out what inspired him, to go to the Miffy Museum (Dick Bruna Huis – it’s being refurbished but there’s a huge exhibition over the road at the main museum) and just to be there. I grew up with Miffy, H has too, but also my dad, when he was alive and went for a break in the Netherlands with my mum, picked up a Miffy for me (but lost it), as he knew how much I loved that bunny back in the seventies. To be in Utrecht meant a lot. Where else would you get Miffy traffic lights?

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Friday 28th August. Back to Amsterdam – and a trip to the Library for the views, a walk around some of the old city and to the Museum of Resistance (which has a fantastic new Children’s area which I’ll go into on another post), before finding more Miffy’s (Miffies?), and heading back to Amsterdam Centraal to make our way home again. This statue is in the Hortus Botanicus and was created by Dick Bruna’s daughter Madelon. I’m so pleased we got to this one, as you had to pay – they let us in for €4.50 as it was about to close, and H for free.

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Saturday 29th August. A lazy day around the house – we needed it after a busy last week. H was given a Miffy stencil, so she set about stencilling our back yard. I love it!

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