8. Amsterdam: Anne Frank Walking Tour with Local Guide
There are stories that deserve to be told, and the experiences of the Jewish Quarter are undoubtedly the protagonists of World War II. During this tour, we will visit some places that were, or are, key to understanding the development of one of the most atrocious moments in history.
We begin with one of the most moving and challenging stories of the Nazi occupation in the Netherlands: the Anne Frank House. Although we will not enter the house, we will review the most famous diary in literature, a story of a young Jewish girl who remained hidden in an Amsterdam house with her family and friends, thus escaping Hitler's clutches. If it has been translated into 70 languages and is included in UNESCO's “Memory of the World Register”, it is for a reason.
We will walk through the Jewish Quarter, discovering how the people had to adapt to a regime that completely changed their lives. We will tell stories and anecdotes that will move you. We will walk among some buildings that, if you look with awareness, still bear the mark of the pain that existed during the conflict.
Do you know the details of the “hunger winter”? We will stop at some synagogues and museums to discuss anecdotes and historical data and find old hiding places that the Dutch resistance offered to the Jews.
A stop in the heart of Amsterdam, precisely in Dam Square, which is the place around which the city was created. Here is the National Monument. A 22-meter-high obelisk built in tribute to the fallen Dutch soldiers, and the Royal Palace, —Koninklijk Palace— which is literally the jewel in the crown, although it is no longer the home of the Dutch royal family.
From the essence of the city, we move to the Jewish essence, and as such, it is impossible not to talk about the Portuguese Synagogue, which became the main place of worship for the community. Did you know that the Ets Haim Library - Tree of Life or Livraria Montezinos - is located there? It is the oldest Jewish library in the world and houses unique religious books, so much so that it is on UNESCO's World Heritage List.
The monuments will not go unnoticed either. The Memorial was created by the Dutch writer and artist Jan Wolkers in memory of the numerous victims of Auschwitz. It is made up of broken mirrors that represent the thought that “the sky is no longer intact since Auschwitz”.
Do you know about the February 1941 Strike or The Dokwerker? The statue represents a brave dockworker. We will talk about all the details!
Last stop: The WWII Resistance Museum. Do not expect the typical museum of dates and data, but rather a collection of stories of those characters who do not appear in books: Reconstructions of homes, documents, accessories, newspapers from the time…