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Top Museums in Amsterdam for War History Lovers

Amsterdam is known for its innumerable amount of museums. If you are particularly interested in World War 2, here is a comprehensive list of museums in Amsterdam that showcase the invasion of the Netherlands vividly and touchingly. Despite its neutral stance before the beginning of the war, Netherlands was attacked and occupied by German forces from 1940-1945. If you plan to visit Amsterdam and want to learn more about how the Second World War affected the city and the Netherlands, these museums are the first address to go to.

Dutch Resistance Museum

The permanent exhibitions of the Dutch Resistance Museum aim to recreate the exact atmosphere of war-time Amsterdam.  Old, but well-preserved photographs, posters, films and sounds of that dramatic time are exhibited on life-like replicas of the streets of Amsterdam. Here you can dive into history without the glooming atmosphere war museums usually display. Many times awarded as the best historical museum of the Netherlands, it is the first destination for history enthusiasts curious about the brave resistance of Amsterdam’s residents during the Nazi occupation.  The Resistance Museum is located right across the street of the main entrance of the Amsterdam Zoo. The Waterlooplein and the Rembrandt House are only a walking distance away.

Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is a perfect addition to the Resistance Museum. Located in the actual house where the young Jewish girl hid from deportation, the visit to this museum offers you a private inside look into what it meant to be Jewish under German rule.  While roaming through the rooms and the secret annex of Anne Frank where she wrote her famous diary, you get a vivid impression of the horror people had to endure in war-times. Visiting the Anne Frank house is indeed a moving experience and a must for every history enthusiast.

Jewish History Museum

The Jewish History Museum, while not being a war museum per se, offers an in-depth experience for you, if you look for a recount of the period from a Jewish perspective.  Here you can revisit the tragic events of the Holocaust and get an impression of what the day to day life was for people of the Jewish Faith.

Hollandsche Schouwburg

Today a monument to the memory of the Jewish war victims, this building was once a Jewish theatre.  But, in their uniquely cruel way, the Nazi used this once joyful place as their deportation centre. Where people once gathered for entertainment and cultural enrichment, they now waited for their deportation into the concentration camps. This museum hosts temporary exhibitions and events retelling the fate of the Holocaust Victims. The memorial wall of the museum bears the names of 104,000 Jewish victims of World War 2. The Hollandsche Schouwburg ( Dutch Theatre) also hosts educational exhibitions specially tailored for young people. This makes it an ideal stop if you visit Amsterdam with your children and want them to get an understanding of the horrors of war.

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