Amsterdam Remembers Auschwitz Liberation

When in Amsterdam....27 January remembers the Liberation of Auschwitz. In cold rain and melting snow Amsterdammers and dignitaries walked in silent procession from the Amsterdam City Hall to the Broken Mirrors Auschwitz Monument. The monument was constructed by Jan Wolders and is located in Wertheim Park.

Relatives, government officials, representatives of foreign governments and others commemorated the millions of Jews, Gypsies, handicapped, homosexuals and others murdered by the Nazis during World War Two.

Amsterdam Mayor, van den Laan made the keynote address. He questioned why had a government's key goal been to dehumanize and murder. He had read and studied much on the topic to find out why the Holocaust had happened; yet still he could not understand. Van den Laan felt responsible as a community leader that it never happens again.

Rabbi Menno ten Brink said the Yizkor and the Kaddish prayer in memory of the dead. There was also music of Roma and Sinti people. Young children also read how they understood the event.

"Never again Auschwitz" Auschwitz monument Amsterdam

An estimated 107,000 Dutch Jews, mostly from Amsterdam, were sent to concentrations camps, mainly Sobibor and Auschwitz. 5,200 Dutch Jews survived these camps and returned.

The liberation of Auschwitz by Russian forces 68 years ago is now an international day that remembers instances of genocide.

Amsterdam is home to the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

When in Amsterdam....remember!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Holocaust Memorial Day 2013

When in Amsterdam....27 January is Holocaust Memorial Day. In 2005 then United Nations' Secretary General appointed 27 January a day of remembrance  The day remembers the liberation of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp in 1945. This day is a worldwide event and remembers those that suffered from genocide. Not just during the World War II but also in places such as Rawanda, Cambodia and Dafur.

In Amsterdam a remembrance ceremony will be held at the Broken Mirrors Monument in Wertheim Park. Before the ceremony a silent procession starts at Amsterdam City Hall at 11am. The ceremony at Wertheim Park begins at 11:30am.

Newly wed Jewish Amsterdammers who  died in the Holocaust
80,000 Jews lived in Amsterdam before Nazi occupation. By the end of WWII only 20% of the Jewish population survived. This was all due to Antisemitism and racism.

If you are unable to make the remembrance ceremony take a monument to think about those who have suffered from racial hatred. Think about how you can do your little bit to stop the emergence of racial hatred, Antisemitism and discrimination. Amsterdam is proudly Anti-discrimination. Without the many nationalities living in Amsterdam this city would not be celebrated Amsterdam of today.

When in Amsterdam....remember.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Australian duo YesYou releases Amsterdam track and music video

When in a picturesque city. Australian Indie music duo YesYou has just released is latest single Amsterdam. The accompany music film shows a speed boat chase through the canals of Amsterdam. Not your normal canal cruise. Enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam's Tulip Day

When in Amsterdam...Tulip Season has started. The Dutch tulip season officially kicked off as Amsterdam's Dam Square played host to the second annual National Tulip Day.  To mark the event, a special tulip garden was set up on the square and everyone was invited to come and pick a bunch of tulips - for free!

Tulip Day Amsterdam's Dam Square

It was a blustery, cold day in Amsterdam, but big crowds braved the elements to join in the fun.  Around 200,000 tulips were set up in front of the Royal Palace and everyone was welcome to take home up to 20 tulips, including the bulbs.

The Dutch fascination with tulips peaked in the 1630's in an episode known as Tulip Mania.  Whilst Amsterdam was at the height of its Golden Century, tulips became the centre of an economic bubble that made and lost fortunes overnight.  When the bubble burst in February, 1637, the unfortunate were left with hoards of tulips worth a fraction of the price they had paid for them.

Tulip Man on Amsterdam's Dam Square

The tulip is no longer seen as a way to get rich quick, they still hold a special place in the Dutch psyche.  It is estimated that 1.7 billion Dutch tulips are enjoyed every year throughout the world. At the end of the Second World War, the Dutch Royal family sent 100000 tulips to the Canadian government as a thank you for offering them sanctuary during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Ottawa now has the second largest tulip festival in the world.

Music Organ on Dam Square, Amsterdam

The tulip season runs each year in the Netherlands from January until the end of April.  During this time of year tulips become ubiquitous throughout Amsterdam in shop windows and gardens.  Why fight the crowds in the Keukenhof to see them when they are right here to be seen!

Tulip Day 2015 will be January 17.

When in Amsterdam... enjoy the spring!.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Photo Tour: Winter Wonder

When in Amsterdam....a Photo Tour is a great idea. Amsterdam is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe. The wonderful  architecture, tree lined canals, boats, and bicycles have amazed people for centuries.

Winter Canals: OMY Amsterdam Photo Tour

 Walk the streets with trained and published Photographers from OMY Amsterdam Tours. The best rated small group tour company in Amsterdam by Trip Advisor.

Amsterdam Tourist Boat winter: OMY Amsterdam Photo Tour

Make the most of your limited time in Amsterdam. The best way to find your way around the small alley ways to the most beautiful locations is with a guide.

Frozen Amsterdam Bike: OMY Amsterdam Photo Tour

If you are a beginner with a passion for photography OMY Amsterdam Guide's give you tips and techniques on how to capture the best photos with your camera.  Along the way learn and talk in a relaxed  personal manner about Amsterdam, the city built on water.

Amsterdam peaceful courtyard: OMY Amsterdam Photo Tour

If you are an experienced photographer enjoy personalized service to the best locations.

Beginner or experienced OMY Guides are flexible to your needs and tours are customized for you. To Book click here.

On the Amstel: OMY Amsterdam Photo Tour

For more photos by OMY Amsterdam Photo Tour Guides click here to see our blog on Amsterdam small houses.

Most important. When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged

Amsterdam Museum: The Golden Age Exhibition: gateway to our modern world

When in Amsterdam.... the city was the wealthiest in Europe at the beginning of the 1600s. The Amsterdam Museum is currently holding an exhibition of the Dutch Golden Age, the seventeenth century. This exhibition explores a period of history when the  Netherlands influenced the world. This influence still shapes the country and how the world sees the Netherlands today.

The period was an age of economic, social, religious and engineering development. Names such as the Dutch East India Company, Rembrandt, Spinoza rose to fame. These names are still household names today. The exhibition does well to delve into a period rich with content.

The curators have used traditional and contemporary techniques. Paintings and artifacts transport guests back to an age of enormous wealth in Amsterdam. These elements are enhanced by documentary segments hosted on television screens. Interactive touch screens enable guests to explore details of paintings and maps of the Netherlands and Amsterdam. In a year when Amsterdam celebrates the 400th anniversary of the city's world heritage listed canals this exhibition brings to life the period.

The limitations of the exhibition is that Amsterdam as a focus is often lost. The display is almost worthy of a Holland exhibition of the period belonging in the national museum. Everyday life in Amsterdam during the period is segued and focuses on the elite, the riches and the celebrated achievements. How people went about their daily lives such as getting water, disposing of waste, schooling and education for all segments of Amsterdam is the depth missing from the exhibition. There is often a feeling there is no new Amsterdam insights, old displays rearranged and slightly expanded. Limitations aside there is much to learn and appreciate.

The most appreciated part of the exhibition is the recognition of a small country glorifying a Golden Age long past. The 17th Century was a period of war and slavery. The Dutch often encouraged and stimulated violence to enhance financial benefit, the VOC mentality. For centuries this period of influence and power was glorified and taught as the Dutch in their finest hour. This is recognized in the final room of the exhibition.

Another positive to the exhibition is the links of the Golden Age to the present day Netherlands. Female independence and childhood education today are connected to Golden Age developments. Land reclamation projects of the Golden Age surrounding Amsterdam also demonstrate the period's influence on today's geography.

For those interested in more depth the book(of the same name) published in associated with the exhibition is very well done. Normally, exhibition books are a catalog of artifacts and the small descriptions guests have just experienced. The book adds to the exhibition in a way few exhibitions do.

The Amsterdam Museum's Golden Age Exhibition is a wonderful mix of riches of the period mixed with documentary insights when Amsterdam was the centre of European development. It is well worth a visit in a year when much is celebrated in Amsterdam.

When in Amsterdam....enjoy!

The Golden Age Exhibition runs until the end of August 2013. Admission is 10 euro and 5 euro for children.

When in Amsterdam... - Blogged