Neighbourhood walk Plantage area and WWII

The surroundings of the Dutch Resistance Museum are closely connected with the history of the occupation and the resistance movement. Bordering on the old ‘Jewish Corner’, the Plantage neighbourhood became one of the new areas where many Amsterdam Jews took up residence from around 1900 onwards.

In February 1941, the occupying forces ordered the demarcation of the ‘Jewish Corner’ as ‘Juden Viertel, Joodsche Wijk’ (‘Jewish neighbourhood’). The German authorities considered making it a ghetto. This would have meant a forced move for the non-Jewish population (around 46%). The plan was never carried out, but then the Germans did not need a ghetto. A number of measures gradually separated the Jews from the rest of the population.

Combine your visit to the Resistance Museum with a walk through this special neighbourhood. You will find a description below. The walk takes around 45 minutes. You can also take the walk with a guide. This requires a reservation.

Routekaart Plantagebuurt

Gebouw Plancius

Number 1: Plancius Building/Dutch Resistance Museum

1876 Jewish choral society "Oefening Baart Kunst".
1894 Meeting place for emerging socialist movement
1915 Taxi Garage ARM
1944-1945 Parking for German occupiers.
1970 Parking place Amsterdam traffic police.
1 May 1999 Opening Dutch Resistance Museum

The Plancius building is a striking building in neo-classical style and was granted listed building status in the year 2000. Plancius was first built as a club building for the Jewish choral society Oefening Baart Kunst ('Practice creates Art') in 1875/76, the years of emancipation for the Jewish proletariat.

Plancius was built in the old, park-like Plantage (Plantation), which at the time became the setting for the homes of the ‘better classes’. The Plancius rooms were used for more than music. They were also the setting for parties, synagogue services and political gatherings, mainly of the socialist movement, in which Jewish workers played a leading role.

In 1913, Gebouw Plancius changed owners and became a taxi garage. A large hall was built at the back – nowadays the permanent exhibition room. During World War II, fuel shortages forced the taxi company to return to the use of horses and carts. At the end of the war, the German occupiers parked vehicles in the building. Plancius remained a garage until the Resistance Museum was established there in 1999.

Ingang Artis

Number 2: Artis
Across the road from the Resistance Museum, you will find the main entrance to the Artis Zoo. Artis remained open to the public throughout the war. In September 1941, the occupying forces banned Jews from visiting Artis or any other ‘public establishment’. Jewish members of Artis received notice that their membership had been discontinued. During the hunger winter of 1944/45, Artis too struggled with a shortage in food and fuel. In early 1945, trespassers slaughtered a pig in the petting zoo. The attics of the service buildings served as hiding places for between 150 and 300 people. Artis was never raided.

Het bevolkingsregister

Number 3: The Amsterdam Registry Office, across the road from the Plancius building
The building now houses a bar and television studio. The fact that the original roof is missing is still clearly visible. Going into hiding was not easy for Dutch Jews. Because the Dutch had no prior experience of wartime occupation, the resistance movement took some time to get off the ground. The extremely efficient population registration also made going into hiding more difficult.

In March 1943 the Amsterdam Registry Office was destroyed in an attack. It was a spectacular act of resistance that caused a major stir. But it could not stop the continu ous round-ups of Jews. The final Jews were arrested and deported in September 1943.

Herinneringsplaquette aanslag bevolkingsregisterAttack Registry Office
On [Saturday] 27.3.43, around 10.15 pm, some ten men wearing Dutch police uniforms overpowered the guards of the population registry, tied up the guards and – after giving them injections – dragged them to the garden. Shortly afterwards, explosions were heard and the building caught fire. There is no trace of the perpetrators.’   (Report from the Amsterdam police)  
A plaque beside the door commemorates the attack.

Monument voor het kunstenaarsverzet

Number 4: Memorial to the artists’ resistance movement
In the public gardens on Plantage Middenlaan, you will find this memorial, created in 1973 by sculptor Carel Kneulman. It represents a reclining figure and refers to the death, on 10 June 1944, by firing quad of the sculptor Gerrit van der Veen. He led a counterfeiting group and took part in the attack on the Registry Office (see above).

Hollandsche Schouwburg

Number 5: The Hollandsche Schouwburg
The Hollandsche Schouwburg, aan de Plantage Middenlaan, was renamed the Joodsche Schouwburg (‘Jewish Theatre’) in October 1941, ‘open only to Jewish audiences’. In September 1942, this theatre became a transit house used to gather Jews for deportation. The youngest children were placed in a nursery across the road. The resistance managed to smuggle some 600 children out of the nursery to hiding places.

The Hollandsche Schouwburg is now a war memorial. It is open daily, from 11 am to 4 pm. See also: Hollandsche Schouwburg

de IVKO-school

Number 6: The IVKO-school
The IVKO school (formerly the Hervormde Kweekschool for onderwijzers / Reformed teacher training college) on the Plantage Middenlaan, across the street from the Hollandsche (Joodsche) Schouwburg.
There used to be a day care centre to the right of the college. In 1942-1943, children whose parents were being detained in the Hollandsche Schouwburg were taken to the day care centre.

Hundreds of children from the day care were smuggled to safety via this former college at number 6. A plaque on its façadee serves as a reminder of these events.

The quote says:  'To all those who helped preserve Jewish children from deportation.’

De Dokwerker

Number 7: de Dokwerker
On Mr. Visserplein, adjacent to the Portuguese Jewish Synagogue and across from Waterlooplein, you can see the well-known statue commemorating the 1941 February strike, de Dokwerker (the dock worker).

Tekst op het monument de Dokwerker


Pelikaan Portugees Israelietisch Ziekenhuis

Number 9: ‘Portuguese Jewish Hospital’
The former Portugees Israelitisch Ziekenhuis (‘Portuguese Jewish Hospital’) on the grand Henri Polaklaan, is one of the addresses where, in 1943, Jewish men from mixed marriages were sterilised. Sterilised Jews were not deported.

The façade still includes the image of a pelican with three young: the symbol of the Portuguese Jewish congregation.

Ingang Wertheimpark

Number 8: The Wertheimpark
The Wertheimpark was created in honour of the Jewish banker and philanthropist A.C. Wertheim (1832-1897).

Monument 'NOOIT MEER AUSCHWITZ' van Jan WolkersThis beautiful city park is home to the memorial ’NOOIT MEER AUSCHWITZ' (Never again Auschwitz), made by Jan Wolkers.