The Jewish Quarter, WWII & the Anne Frank Story

Duration: 2h and 15min
Languages: English
Quality Verified Registered on August 03, 2021

One of the best things about Amsterdam is how ‘gezellig’ people are – how people try to make every social situation, even with strangers, as friendly and convivial as possible. We do that in all our tours, even with tours with such difficult stories as the Holocaust. You will most likely make connections on our tours with other tour-goers, which can help make looking at the unbearable bearable. Come learn and enjoy with us!

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  • No minimum number of attendees
    No minimum number of attendees is required for the tour
  • Free booking and cancellation
    Free payment tour, no set price, booking and cancellation are free
  • Accepts electronic payment
    This tour allows payment by electronic means or credit card

Tour description

How was it that Amsterdam, the Jerusalem of the West, the one safe place to be Jewish in the world for 350 years, became the country in WWII with the highest percentage (75%) of Jews killed in Western Europe?

We will use Anne Frank’s story and many other stories to understand what it was like to live in a Nazi regime of terror for both Jews and non-Jews,

The tour includes stops at The National Holocaust Names Monument, The Jewish Theatre, The Auschwitz Monument and the Portuguese Synagogue, along with many more places with stories of the incredible exploits of heroes and traitors during the war, both Jewish and Christian: 

  • The Jewish children who were bravely saved from the transit center nursery.
  • The nurse who led a resistance cell whose existence was never discovered by the Nazis.
  • The paid informants who hunted down Jews in hiding, including the Jewish woman accused of betraying seven hundred Jews.
  • The effects of Queen Wilhelmina's anti-Semitism on the fates of Dutch Jews.

We will also discuss the kinds of lies used to create such virulent anti-Semitism, and how lies continue to be used today to foment hate and war.

The tour will take place in the Jewish Quarter, the heart of Jewish culture in Amsterdam.  We begin at the Spinoza monument.

We will arrive at the Portuguese Synagogue two hours and 15 minutes after the beginning of the tour. The tour will be completely over within two and a half hours.

Since we are in Amsterdam, we will try to make even this tour about WWII as gezellig (friendly and convivial) as possible.

From a recent review: The Jewish tour with Jon was wonderful. ... while the tour can be deeply saddening ..., Jon was able to keep the energy up using humor when appropriate and kept the group engaged. Highly recommend this tour!

This tour is a terrific substitute or accompaniment for the Anne Frank House (annefrank.org). You can only buy tickets to the Anne Frank House through their website two months ahead of time. Read the link below and follow the directions closely!. Book the terrific introductory program in English if it is available. https://www.annefrank.org/en/museum/tickets/

We do not visit the Anne Frank museum, since there is really nothing to see except her statue outside of the museum. Come on this tour to find out what the Jews and the Dutch experienced in WWII.

The Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum are usually sold out for at least a week or more.  Reserve early for many museums, including the National Holocaust Museum.

If you will visit at least four Dutch museums (including all the museums above), it can be a good idea to buy a Museum Card, good at 450 museums for one year. You can buy a temporary pass at the first museum you visit, use that pass five times, and receive a permanent pass within five days or less.  If ordering tickets for the Anne Frank House or another museum, just mark that you have a Museum Card and don't pay anything online.  Then buy the card at the first museum you visit. https://www.museum.nl/en/museumpass

I  look forward to seeing you soon - Pedro & Jon

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What will we visit on this tour?

  • Meeting point:
    Zwanenburgwal 15, 1011 VW Amsterdam, ...
    Zwanenburgwal 15, 1011 VW Amsterdam, Netherlands
    View on map

    To find the meeting point, type in Frenzi Zwanenburgwal in Google Maps or iMAPS. https://maps.app.goo.gl/h8EGwhPtg2rAF7X19. From Frenzi, cross the bridge and go to the Spinoza Monument, a statue of a man in a funny cape. We will meet there. Unfortunately, just entering Spinoza Monument will probably get you lost.

  • 1
    Outside visit
    Spinoza Monument

    Spinoza, the child of Portuguese-Jewish immigrants born in Amsterdam in 1632, was the most radical of all Enlightenment philosophers and embodies the freedom of thought of Amsterdam in the 1600s.

  • 2
    Outside visit
    Joods Verzetsmonument

    The Monument to Jewish Resistance.

  • 3
    Outside visit
    National Opera & Ballet

    The lobby has the commemorative statue "The Fiddler".

  • 4
    Outside visit
    Hermitage / Hart Museum

    We will tell a story in the beautiful inner courtyard. Free bathrooms are also available.

  • 5
    Outside visit
    The Shadow Wall

    Commemorates the Jews who lived in these apartments in WWII and were killed by the Nazi occupation.

  • 6
    Outside visit
    National Holocaust Names Monument

    This 2021 monument designed by Daniel Liebeskind commemorates all 102,000 Dutch Jews and 220 Dutch gypsies killed by the Nazis.

  • 7
    Outside visit
    National Holocaust Museum & Jewish Theater (Jewish Cultural Quarter)

    The Nazis changed the Dutch Theatre into the Jewish Theatre in 1940 and then into a Jewish transit camp in July of 1942. The theatre and the daycare centre/school across the street are now the new National Holocaust Museum.

  • 8
    Outside visit

    The Dutch monument to the victims of Auschwitz.

  • 9
    Outside visit
    Portugese Synagoge

    The synagogue is my favourite non-art museum in the Netherlands. The plaza is the scene of the first roundup of Jews in the Netherlands.

How much does this tour cost?

Free tours do not have a set price, instead, each person gives the guru at the end of the tour the amount that he or she considers appropriate (these usually range from €10 to $50 depending on satisfaction with the tour).

Tour opinions

(938 ratings)
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Rhonda 21 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
Pedro was friendly and showed us around the Jewish quarter on Amsterdam. We had a group of about 10.. :)
Sarah 21 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
This tour was really interesting and took us on an insightful and edifying journey through the Old Jewish Quarter. Pedro was a great guide and his talk was incredibly knowledgeable whilst also accessible.
Daniel 20 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
Perfect Tour. I recommend it! Thank you, Pedro. You were amazing.
Megan 18 Jun 2024

Verified booking
Travelled in couple - Jun 2024
Excellent guide managed sensitive anddifficult subject matter
Leisa 18 Jun 2024
Lennox Head

Verified booking
Travelled alone - Jun 2024
I would highly recommend this tour. Pedro has the difficult task of taking people through a very dark period of history. He does this with great compassion, yet manages to keep the stories flowing with a great sense of hope and levity. The areas we visited were the real Amsterdam I was hoping to find. Wonderful afternoon.
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Who is this tour for?

Non suitable for people with reduced mobility.
Does not accept large group reservations.
Suitable for carrying pets.

What should you know?

Minimum of attendees
There is no minimum number of people required for the tour.
Additional costs:
The tour does not require the payment of entrance fees or additional expenses.
Free cancellation
If you will not be able to attend the tour, please cancel your booking, otherwise the guide will be waiting for you.
Payment methods
Electronic or credit card payment is accepted.
When do you want to go?
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