The most impressive and educational attractions about the Second World War.
The Second World War left many traces in the Netherlands. As a direct neighbour of Germany, it could remain neutral for a long time, but the Netherlands was nevertheless occupied from 1940 to 1945. You can find traces and sights of the war throughout the country. In this article I tell you about the most beautiful war museums, the most famous locations and also the most impressive war cemeteries. In 2019 and 2020 we commemorate and celebrate the end of the WWII in the Netherlands. We are celebrating 75 years of freedom.
If you want to learn more about WWII in the Netherlands, museums are the perfect places to visit. The Netherlands has many museums with the theme of World War II. Much attention is paid to education and interaction, which means that most museums are also highly recommended with children.
National military museum
The National Military Museum is the best war museum in the Netherlands in terms of building and location. The large modern building in which the museum is located is on a former military airbase. The theme is the Dutch wars in general. There is a very large and impressive collection of planes, tanks and other vehicles, mostly from the Second World War. In addition, there is an area with interactive and educational activities, both fun for children and adults!
Airborne Museum Hartenstein
Airborne Museum Hartenstein in Oosterbeek (near Arnhem) is a museum about the Battle of Arnhem in September 1944. In this museum stories are told of British, Polish and German soldiers and also civilians. In the Airborne Experience you can experience the Battle of Arnhem in an impressive way. Temporarily closed until 14 march 2020.
War Museum Overloon
There is so much to see and experience in the War Museum in Overloon. The war items collection is very extensive and exclusive. The museum focuses on WWII. This is not surprising, because a major battle has taken place in the village of Overloon as part of Operation Market Garden. In the museum you can also experience in a very realistic way how the inhabitants of Overloon experienced the attack on their village. In addition, you can experience what it is like being a parachutist in a plane on the way to Normandy.
When you visit Overloon for the museum, I also recommend that you visit the war cemetery in the village.
The National Monument Camp Vught
About 32,000 people have been imprisoned here. The National Monument Camp Vught is located on the spot where there was a concentration camp during the Second World War. The museum consists of an inside and an outside section. In the museum there are exhibitions and a memorial room, a model, a reconstructed barrack and watchtowers.
Arnhem Oosterbeek War Cemetery
Near Arnhem, in Oosterbeek there is a large war cemetery. This cemetery contains the graves of more than 1700 soldiers of the Air Force, Army and Navy, most of whom died during Operation Market Garden. Thousands of white tombstones on a green lawn, it is an impressive sight. Therefore it is a great place to commemorate WWII in the Netherlands.
Anne Frank House
Perhaps the most famous and most popular museum in the Netherlands, is the home of Anne Frank. With a Jewish family she was in hiding here for two years during the Second World War. Unfortunately the family was caught and sent to a concentration camp. Anne Frank did not survive the war. In the Anne Frank house museum you can view the spaces where Anne Frank lived.
Please note: this museum can only be visited with a reservation.
Operation Market Garden ended at Arnhem. The bridge over the Rhine was the last bridge that the Allies had to take. But the light-armed airborne troops were unable to cope with the presence of the two SS Armored Divisions in the area. After desperate battles and many deaths, the Jo Frost Bridge turned out to be one bridge too far. In the city of Arnhem there are still many traces from the second world war. There are also several monuments and events that commemorate WWII in the Netherlands.
In addition to the fact that the island of Terschelling is a great holiday destination, many traces from WWII can also be found
As part of the Atlaktikwall, the German armed forces had a large bunker complex built on Terschelling, named the Tigerstellung. The Tigerstellung has brought down nearly two hundred allied planes. This is one of the few defences in the Netherlands that is still almost complete. The total complex of seven hectares consists of 102 buildings, in which more than 200 German soldiers lived and worked during the Second World War. Due to its imposing size, the command bunker Bertha is unique in the Netherlands. Today, part of the bunkers is part of a museum.
In addition, there is a route of 7 km along many bunkers on the island.
Event calendar 2020
4th of May at 8pm– Annual commemoration of the dead, commemorative ceremony with 2 minutes of silence. At various locations in the Netherlands.
5th of May – Liberation day, free pop festivals in several cities.
19th of September 2020- Airborne Memorial Ede, drops with hundreds of parachutists. Location: Ginkelse heide, Ede
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