Founders of Freedom

Survival & Resistance in Wartime Netherlands
July 4, 2019 — October 15, 2020

In 2019, the Netherlands youngest survivor of the Second World War will be 74 years old. By 2040, only a handful of centenarians will be left who have any first-hand memory of the war, and once gone that tangible link will vanish with them. There will be no-one left who lived through the German occupation, or who braved a hail of bullets to bring freedom to an occupied Holland. There will be no-one who survived a death camp to find themselves alone, without friends or family , and not even a photograph to remember that time in their lives. All that will remain are films, books, and other documents to inform us of that time and those who lived and died. 

As the Second World War begins to recede into the oceans of a bygone era it still remains important for us to remember. In fact, the passage of time is all the more reason to keep these memories alive, not just for the sake of names, places, and dates, but so future generations can learn how not to fall victim to those same mistakes made in the past. As long as racism, discrimination, intolerance, and fascism exist, the Second World War should remain an invaluable teaching tool. I hope this exhibition can serve as a means of protecting both our countries’ shared democratic values and freedoms we all hold dear. Today, the United States and Netherlands have evolved into thriving multi-cultural societies, and hopefully, the lessons and stories presented in this exhibit will lead us all to a better tomorrow. Please take some time reviewing these images and pondering the topics and lessons found herein.