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Update on COVID-19 and Europe Remembers Event Listings and Activities [13.03.2020]

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Eye to eye with war

In 2020 it will be 75 years since the Netherlands was liberated. To celebrate this anniversary, the Fries Museum, in collaboration with Tresoar, the Frisian Film Archive and Historical Center Leeuwarden is exhibiting archive images of the Second World War and the liberation of the province of Friesland.

This photo exhibition portrays Friesland in wartime and is part of the national project WO2 in 100 foto’s (‘WW2 in 100 photographs’) by the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD). The photographs are interspersed with amateur films that the Frisian Film Archive selected especially for this exhibition. The films were often shot in secret and provide a penetrating perspective on the war, the resistance and the persecution of the Jews in Friesland. The exhibition also includes a meeting place where contemporary projects are displayed and where visitors can talk to witnesses, experts and each other.

Eye to eye with war presents familiar and lesser-known stories to create a compelling impression of the war years, the resistance and the persecution of the Jews in Fryslân. Terrifying film footage surreptitiously made by a neighbour across the street captured the deportation of the De Jongh family in 1942. Also on view are photographs and film footage of a National Socialist gathering on the Wilhelminaplein (which the occupiers called ‘Het Plein’). As in other cities in the Netherlands, the streetscape in Leeuwarden was inundated with German signboards. Photographs of the 1944/1945 Hunger Winter are also displayed. Approximately 70,000 hunger evacuees came to Fryslân, where the shortages were slightly less acute than in the rest of the country. German soldiers buried fallen English aviators with full military honours on the island Schiermonnikoog. Finally, unique film footage gives a special insight into the first days after the liberation: eruptions of joy in various villages and cities in Friesland, but also the darker side, such as arrests and the settling of scores.

Eye to eye with war