The Verzets Resistance Museum is one of Amsterdam’s most intriguing and important museums chronicling the Dutch resistance movement during World War II.
It is located in the historic Plancius building (built 1876) opposite Artis Zoo, in the old Jewish quarter of the city. The museum originally opened in 1984 and moved to the Plancius in 1999.
A visit to the Dutch resistance museum will give you a fascinating insight into the history of the Netherlands in the 1930s and the 1940s via the permanent exhibition ‘Holland in World War II‘.
It covers the invasion and takeover of the country by the Germans, the persecution of the city’s Jewish residents and the rise of the resistance movement.
Many forms of resistance are highlighted: armed resistance, the general strikes, the use of forged documents, the helping of people going into hiding, the printing and distribution of underground newspapers and the use of clandestine radios.
Early in the war some tried to flee by boat to England, although after the Atlantic Wall fortification was built by the Germans, escape routes had to be arranged via Belgium, France and Spain.
The exhibition runs in a general chronological order and towards the end of the war it features the food shortages and hunger winter and finally to liberation and the post-war years.
The collection is marked by many personal stories and the dilemmas which arose. You will see propaganda posters, photos and various artefacts giving a taste of what life was like during the period.
Exhibits are well labelled in both Dutch and English. There is a free audio tour available in 7 languages – Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
There is a short introductory film which can be seen in the main film theatre. There is also a small mock-up cinema within the exhibition itself.
There is an interesting side exhibition on the Dutch East-Indeas during World War II and the Japanese occupation.
A museum shop is found in the foyer and a café-restaurant is situated next-door with indoor and outdoor seating.
The Resistance Museum Junior in a separate wing is aimed at children aged from 9 years. Exhibits focus on the lives of wartime children and labelling is in both Dutch and English.
There are plans to refresh and renew the main exhibition in the coming years. Further expansion plans have had to be scaled back due to the financial constraints from the lockdown measures.
The Verzetsmuseum is well worth a visit and its themes continue to have increasing relevance to today’s society.
You must pre-book a ticket and timeslot online in advance.
Verzets Resistance Museum Essential Info
|Opening Times||1000-1700 (Mon-Fri), 1100-1700 (Sat/Sun/Holidays). Open since 5 June 2021.|
|Admission Prices (2021)||€13 for adults, €7 for children 7-17. FREE entry for children 0-6, Museumkaart and Iamsterdam City Card holders.|
|Getting There||Verzetsmuseum is easily walkable from the centre of Amsterdam – head towards Waterlooplein and continue further along the Plantage Middenlaan. Turn left at Plantage Kerklaan. By public transport you can take tram 14 from Amsterdam Central Station to the ‘Artis’ stop. Or take metro lines 51, 53 or 54 to Waterlooplein.|
Verzetsmuseum, Plantage Kerklaan 61, 1018 CX Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 620 2535, verzetsmuseum.org
Last updated 18 August 2021. This article was first published in 2010 and has been regularly updated.