On Saturday I actually woke up before three in the afternoon, so I decided to do something productive with my day. I went to two museums, the Jewish Historical Museum and the Dutch Resistance Museum (click on the names to go to their websites), and I was working on a blog post all day yesterday. Today I tried to save it and it “failed.” That is what the message popped up to say, at least. So now I have lost all motivation to re-type the thousands of words and several witty comments, and instead I will just upload some pics. I don’t think I was allowed to take pictures inside the Jewish Historical Museum, judging by the way I was searched upon entrance and how I couldn’t take my purse with me inside, and also the fact that there were few signs and everybody working there seemed very unfriendly and unhelpful. Probably because I went on a Saturday, and they knew they were going straight to Hell for working on the Jewish sabbath. Just kidding. Jews don’t believe in Hell.
The Jewish Historical Museum is comprised of four synagogues no longer in use that are connected by glass walkways. You can see the walkway above the entrance sign in the picture above.
The museum was pretty cool, but I am into that sort of stuff. You know, Jewish stuff. The oldest synagogue held artifacts and displays about the history of the Jews in the Netherlands from their arrival after the Spanish Inquisition to the 1800’s. The other large synagogue held exhibitions about Dutch Jews from their emancipation in the 1800’s to the present day, specifically focusing on WWII. Overall, I thought the museum did an excellent job of showing how there were many tough decisions to be made during that time, and that it wasn’t as straightforward as “escape the country.” Did you know that Jews who went into hiding during WWII generally had to pay the people to hide them? It wasn’t a matter of bravery or doing what was right, it was a financial decision. The museum didn’t try to place any blame on the Dutch government or the Jewish Council or anyone, so that was refreshing.
The museum also had a children’s museum within it. I went inside and it was pretty neat. I think Grace, Payton, and Sonny would love it, especially if they learned Hebrew. The children’s museum was really interactive, with an art room and a music room and a library. It was cool.
Next I went to the Verzetsmuseum, or the Dutch Resistance Museum. Actually, I tried to go to the Holocaust Memorial first, but the doors were locked even though the sign said they were open daily at that time. So after I was rejected by the Holocaust Memorial, I went to the Dutch Resistance Museum.
I could take pictures in the Dutch Resistance Museum, as long as there was no flash. The Museum was really interesting, in my opinion, and it was very interactive. Like, I think it was designed by a person with ADD because every display had a button to push or a video to watch or something to do.
I would have gotten more out of the museum if I read Dutch, because a lot of the actual papers and artifacts from the Dutch Resistance movement were, obviously, written in Dutch. But all of the signs and information were in English, so it was no problem.
This was one part of the museum that I thought was really cool. It was called the informational center, and it was upstairs from the museum, but you could look down and see the displays. It had a library of books about WWII, Dutch resistance, and the Holocaust. What I really liked were the magazines and information about ways to help stop current genocides. As you can see in the picture, there is also a video screen where school groups can watch films or listen to speakers. I thought it was a really nice and unintimidating way for people to learn about what is going on around the world today so nothing like the Holocaust ever happens again.
Saturday night I went out for a beer with Ole Martin. We wandered around FOREVER because each bar was either way overpriced, way too touristy, or there was no one there. Or too smoky. What can I say, we are picky. Finally we went back to where we started and ended up at an overpriced, touristy bar filled with old people and late 90’s R&B songs..not in a good way. Haha. It was there that I told Ole Martin, the physics major, that I don’t believe in atoms.
Most of my friends know that I don’t believe in atoms. I mean, I have been taught that they exist and have seen diagrams about what they supposedly look like, but I have never seen an atom. Neither have you. I can’t smell atoms or feel them, other than the things that are supposedly made up of these “atoms.” You would be surprised at how many people get really defensive when I say I don’t believe in atoms. Like I am personally attacking them or something. Which I guess I am, if you believe we are made up of “atoms.” I mean, it’s not like I don’t believe in anything. I believe in dinosaurs because I have seen bones and I believe in comets because I have seen pictures. I am not even limiting my belief to things I have seen in real life. A picture will suffice. But how many pictures have you seen of atoms? Actual pictures? Basically, I believe atoms are a conspiracy. Or a big joke. Like scientists are saying, we can’t see them, but we know they are there. Sure…just like ghosts.
Anyway, when I told Ole Martin this, his face just fell. Let’s just say that physics has a bit to do with atoms and electrons (so they say), so I pretty much told him that I don’t believe in anything he has spent his life studying. But that’s okay, because I’m studying religion! So he could say the same to me!
Well, anyway, Ole Martin tried to explain to me why atoms exist, like many have before, but he actually kind of succeeded. He gave me the standard answers of “atoms are too small to see,” etc. And I asked him why we don’t build a bigger microscope to see better. And then he broke my heart by saying that it will never be possible to see atoms, even with a hella good microscope, for some reason that I don’t understand. So, basically, atoms are invisible. But Ole Martin has seen them. Sort of. More like the light that emits when electrons move..or something. Either way, someone has sort of seen an atom! This fact makes me sort of believe in them. We also talked about quantum mechanics and quantum physics, and how electrons can move through hills instead of going over them, and I asked him silly questions like, “Are there different colors of atoms?” I felt like I would understand it all better if we were having the conversation in a coffee shop rather than a bar. I feel like my mind would be more open to stuff if I were high. After all this intense scientific talk (are we nerds?), we recooperated with some ice cream. Haagen Dazs, in fact. Then I went home. Here are some pics from Rembrandtplein, where we went.
This has taken an incredibly long time to post. Blah. Please comment because they make me happy and I laugh and it makes me feel like I am not a loser writing, “Dear diary, today I….”