To the farms!

Child evacuations in the Hunger Winter

September 30, 2014 until April 12, 2015

70 years since the Hunger Winter, it’s time for the Dutch Resistance Museum Amsterdam to show a moving exhibition on some 40.000 children who were evacuated in the first few months of 1945 from the urban western part of the country ‘to the farms’, to save them from starvation. 

Winter 1944/45, the Netherlands has been at war for more than four years. The Germans are going to lose, but nobody knows when. There are terrible food shortages in the urban western part of the country. Thousands of malnourished children are threatened with starvation. Rescue operations are launched, with the permission of the occupying Germans. In the first few months of 1945, some 40,000 malnourished children are evacuated to the northern and eastern parts of the Netherlands, where there is still enough food available. It is a major undertaking in extremely difficult circumstances, organised by churches, associations, local councils and companies. The organisers manage to smuggle some people in hiding and Jewish children along with the evacuees… Even the Dutch Nazi party NSB gets involved. The children travel ‘to the farms’, mainly on freight ships, but also on buses, trucks, trains and sometimes on foot or by bike. Into the unknown.

To the farms! is a production of the Dutch Resistance Museum Amsterdam, made possible by contributions from the Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds/Ben en Nel van Bohmen van der Zwart Fonds, SNS REAAL Fonds, Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei, VSBfonds, Mondriaan Fonds, Stichting Democratie en Media, the Solidariteitsfonds e.a.