When Margo at The Travel Belles asked us to share about our favorite museum for this month’s Across the Cafe Table, I was stymied! I love museums, from the quirky to the sublime, but I wracked my brain to think of my absolute favorite.
I thought of the Museum of Bread Culture in Ulm, Germany – a place that sounded as dull as can be at first glance, but turned out to be a 5-story trip through history chock full of interesting displays and fascinating tidbits of how bread was used to win wars, control entire populations, and bring life to those on the brink of death.
I considered the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles, a fantastic place filled with the most beautiful vistas of animals in their natural habitats, and the Museum Willet-Holthuysen in Amsterdam. How I love this wonderful old canal house with its charming gardens and cozy old kitchen.
But at last I settled on the Dutch Resistance Museum in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam has a wealth of museums, including the famous Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, but this one is my favorite.
It is the sort of place you want to linger in, reading story after story of the heroic and selfless actions of Dutch civilians during the Nazi Occupation of World War II.
I read incredulously of the ingenuity of the Resistance workers as they devised brilliant ways of smuggling ration cards, food, and forged papers to those in need. I cried as I read the heart-rending stories of those who suffered terribly or lost their lives in their efforts to rescue Jews and others hunted by the Nazis.
The museum has an extensive and fascinating collection of items from WWII, including original clothing, documents, and furniture that give the stories even greater impact. I loved reading snippets from old letters and diaries and learning about the man who cooked the books of the Dutch government in order to finance the Resistance movement right under the noses of the Gestapo. I was transfixed by hundreds of photos and hearing the voices of survivors telling their stories.
Mostly I was inspired and challenged to look at my time in history and find ways to protect and care for those in need.
For more information on the Dutch Resistance Museum click here.
Note: call ahead for exact ticket cost since changes are not always reflected on website.
For more information about beloved museums around the world, click here.
What is your favorite museum?