|The lines for the Anne Frank House are shortest in |
the evening, so the walking tour might best begin at
the high number and work down.
A Boissevain family reunion is planned for the spring of 2016, preferably not during a vacation when school children will be visiting Amsterdam museums in large numbers.
I have suggested a walking tour on the map at left to visit some of the sites with family associations to the west and south of the Dam - I apologize for my inadequate map-annotating skills.
It would take about two hours for a group just to visit sites 2-10, without taking into account time spent inside.
At the last stop, the Amsterdam Stadsarchief offers sandwiches, coffee and fruit juices for sale.
Special exhibits of Boissevain or van Hall-related books or archives might be arranged at NIOD or the Stadsarchief, or both.
The tour is marked as starting at 0 - the Anne Frank House, and then proceeding toward the Royal Palace via 1 - the Raadhuisstraat. But probably these should be left for a different day. Getting tickets to the Anne Frank House has to be arranged well in advance and unless the group goes together there is no point in assembling at the House. The tour should probably begin with 2, behind the Palace.
The Buildings Near the Palace
|The noodle place that used to print Het Parool.|
All photos by JT Marlin, Feb. 19, 2015.
|Now an upscale hotel, this building used to serve|
meals to workers and is where the armed
CS6 group met.
|This plaque is located to the right of the entrance to the|
hotel at #178-#180 Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal.
During the German Occupation 1940-1945 / in these buildings, a foundation, / Central Commercial Kitchens for Amsterdam South of the Ij River, / prepared 4.734 million liters of meals on behalf of workers / for Amsterdam industrial companies.That would mean about one million liters for each year of the occupation. If the soup kitchen was open 250 days per year, that would mean 4,000 liters per day.
One can speculate how the 4,000 liters were consumed. A 12-ounce bowl of soup with 300 calories is about one-third of a liter - with a slice of bread, half a liter. So the kitchen may have been serving 8,000 meals per day. During the hunger winter in the last year of the war, the portions would have been much smaller.
|The old Handelsblad building now has an art|
gallery on the ground floor.
Skipping down to the Muntplein at the southern end of the Kalverstraat, Amsterdam's brand-name shopping street, we have three sites to visit.
|Tobacco company at 118 Nes that hid people in the basement.|
6 - #118 Nes was a tobacco company that hid people in the basement. This basement at least had windows. Across the road is the "Tobacco Theater".
|The former central bank of the Netherlands, now the Allard|
Pierson Museum. This is where the audacious robbery of
Treasury bills took place to fund the Resistance.
Rembrandtplein and Stadsarchief
The tour goes to the Rembrandtplein, where picture-taking in front of the sculptures around the front of Rembrandt's statue is an option.
|This used to be the Rembrandt Theater, where the Dutch|
Nazis went in the evening. CS6 set fire to it.
|The statue of Rembrandt with sculptures of some of the |
people he painted. Hitler wanted Rembrandt to be the
Dutch equivalent of Wagner - an illustration of what the
Master Race can do. The Dutch didn't buy it. At. All.
9 - #32 Vijzelstraat - Amsterdam Stadsarchief - crossing the Herengracht and going west one street to Vijzelstraat, we are at the last stop, the Amsterdam Stadsarchief, which has several interesting features. Many Boissevain family and van Hall family papers are archived here and could be displayed for the family. In addition, the building used to be the headquarters of a bank that the Boissevain family was heavily invested in and at which individuals were represented on the staff and board. The building itself is of unusual interest architecturally because many environmentally interesting features were built into the design. It was the ABN AMRO headquarters until they moved to a more modern building. At the family reunion a few years ago we were given an architectural tour of the Stadsarchief.
Sources (in addition to my having walked the route):
de Jong, Louis (Loe). The Netherlands and Nazi Germany. The Erasmus Lectures at Harvard. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988.
van Tol, Ineke. Persecution and Resistance in Amsterdam, 2006. A walk from the Anne Frank House to the Verzetsmuseum. Reviewed by Liesbeth van der Horst and Ruud Lindeman of the Verzetsmuseum, Erik Somers of NIOD and Hans Westra of the Anne Frank Stichting. English version translated by Maneke Piggott. Sold by the Verzetsmuseum.
I have been posting stories and information and sources about the Boissevain family in World War II. They are in the form of chapters of a book.
A walking tour of 19th Century Boissevains in Amsterdam is here.