Amsterdam city walk: beyond the Anne Frank House 

Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue dates back to the 1670s.
Interior of the “Snoge” – Amsterdam’s 17th century Portuguese Synagogue. It remains candle lit and unheated to this day.

The Anne Frank House is one of Amsterdam’s most visited sites, and rightly so. It focuses on the girl behind the diary, but also tells the chilling story of how the Nazis managed to deport almost all of Amsterdam’s 100,000+ Jewish citizens. Its role is also to educate current and future generations of the dangers of authoritarianism and racial discrimination.

But the Anne Frank House is not in the part of town where Jewish life in Amsterdam was focused in the three centuries before World War Two. (This may have been Otto Frank’s intention when selecting his hiding place, and may explain why his family managed to remain hidden for so long).

Former Jewish girls’ orphanage in Amsterdam’s Jewish Quarter

This walking tour will show you the area just east of the city centre where Amsterdam’s two Jewish communities: the Sephardic Jews, originally from Portugal, and the Ashkenazim, who came from Central and Eastern Europe, settled from the late 1500s onwards. It starts at the beautiful Portuguese synagogue, completely unchanged since the 17th century, and Ets Haim, its UNESCO World Heritage Jewish library.

“Monument of Jewish Gratitude” – a monument Amsterdam’s remaining Jews were asked to build by the city’s authorities to thank the Dutch for the protection afforded against the Nazis…

We will then walk through the former Jewish quarter – which was never a ghetto, as the Dutch never compelled the Jews to live there. We will visit a number of monuments to World War Two and the Holocaust. These monuments show the development in how the Dutch dealt with their uncomfortable past vis-a-vis the persecution and the deporting of the country’s Jewish population.

The Hollandsche Schouwburg. Note the tram stop in the foreground. Amsterdam trams took the Jews rounded up here to Muiderpoort station, where trains were waiting to deport them to the Nazi death camps in Eastern Europe.

The tour ends normally ends at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, the former theatre that served as a collection point for Jews that had been rounded up for deportation to the death camps in Eastern Europe.

Cost of a three hour walking tour: €120 for groups up to 15 people. Excludes €15 per person entry fee to the Portuguese synagogue. This ticket will also give you access to the Jewish Historical museum and the National Holocaust museum.

For more information or bookings, please use the contact form.

Advertisements