Occupied by Nazi Germany from 1940 to 1945, the Netherlands was on the forefront of World War II. As such, these Amsterdam museums chronicle the ways in which the city and the country dealt with the war, its atrocities and its end.
This repeat earner of "Best Historical Museum in the Netherlands" offers visitors an in-depth view of how the Dutch resisted the opression brought by German occupation during World War II through strikes, protests, forgery and hiding the persecuted. Housed in a former 19th-century Jewish social club, the collection enlightens visitors on life in Amsterdam and the Netherlands before, during and after the war with impressive recreations of streetscenes and building interiors.
See where Anne Frank penned her now world-famous diary, which tells the story of a young Jewish girl in hiding with her family during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam in World War II. Viewing the secret annex and many other rooms in this restored canal house is a deeply moving experience and well-worth enduring the ever-present crowds. Avoid lines by visiting early or late in the day, or by purchasing special-access evening tickets in advance.
This building in the Plantage/Jewish Quarter area of Amsterdam has a sadly contradictory history. Opened in 1892 as a theater to provide entertainment and camaraderie for the Jewish community, in 1942 it became a World War II deportation center for Jews. On this formerly festive spot, Jewish men, women and children gathered to await transfer to a transit camp in Holland and later to Nazi death camps. The memorial features a courtyard bearing an eternal flame and a permanent exhibition.