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Ruminations on an Auschwitz Tour

When I was a kid – six or seven years old, I’d guess – my parents decided I was old enough to see a documentary about the Holocaust. With no idea what it was about, I was delighted to be allowed to stay up past my bedtime. If my parents explained it at all, before…

WWII and Cold War sites in Berlin

Berlin is a wonderfully diverse and dynamic city, and especially intriguing to visit as a tourist with an interest in history. In particular, Berlin is the place to go if you like learning about 20th century history, and, more specifically, World War II and the Cold War. I’ve written about a number of Berlin’s WWII…

a daytime shot of the Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin

The night I arrived in Berlin was full of color and light: the annual Festival of Lights was underway. A light show projected onto the Brandenburg Gate kept the crowds entertained in the cold autumn air. Walking the short distance from the Brandenburg Gate to the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe meant, both…

These postcards are free for visitors to the Dutch Resistance Museum

The Dutch Resistance Museum, Amsterdam

This entry is part 11 of 23 in the series Amsterdam Museums

“That was pretty interesting” is high praise indeed, when it comes from my 17-year-old son after a visit to a museum. The Verzetsmuseum – the Dutch Resistance Museum – in Amsterdam is one of very few that have earned a “pretty interesting” from him. Documenting not just the resistance movement during World War II, but…

artificial harbor at Arromanches

Another museum review? Not exactly…

I wasn’t going to post anything more about world war museums or sites. I figured people aren’t too interested in hearing about them, so the two reviews I’ve already written would be enough. But when my oh-so-laconic son, coming out of a World War II-related site yesterday, remarked, “Even I found this one moving,” I…

Review: the Battle of Normandy Memorial Museum

Since I reviewed a museum last week – the In Flanders Field Museum in Ypres – it only makes sense for me to review the museum I visited yesterday. Even more so because they are such comparable museums: the first was about World War I in the Ypres Salient; the one I visited yesterday looks…

Living Among the Dead

As we were driving through the countryside on the way to Gent from Ypres the other day, it occurred to me that these people – the ones who live in the houses we were passing – live among the dead. There are graveyards everywhere, for one thing. One website lists 160 of them in the Ypres…