Happy 111th Birthday, Miep Gies

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Today is the 111th birthday of Miep Gies, the woman who hid Anne Frank, her family and another family in her attic. Her inner moral compass knew what was right, it was right to help people. And she did…

Source: HAPPY 111TH BIRTHDAY MIEP GIES

Lest We Forget | Actonbooks

A brave and by his own words modest man died last month. His name was Mike Dauncey. He was 97, and so in the language of the battle for hearts and minds that the English call the game of cricket, D…

Source: Lest We Forget | Actonbooks

Hungerwinter | Iconic Photos

Almost every story and discussion about the bitter Dutch Hungerwinter of 1944-45 would feature the photo above, Boy with a Pan (“Jongen met het pannetje” in Dutch) — an iconic ima…

Source: Hungerwinter | Iconic Photos

Victims of Antisemitism: The Anne Frank Huis and Museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind – W.U Hstry

Last summer I had the opportunity to travel around Europe stopping in a number of countries. Today I will be looking at two museums I visited, the first in Amsterdam and the second in Berlin. Both …

Source: Victims of Antisemitism: The Anne Frank Huis and Museum Otto Weidt’s Workshop for the Blind – W.U Hstry

Anne Frank Who? Museums Combat Ignorance About the Holocaust – The New York Times

At 16 John Decates joined the Dutch Underground during WW II – Captured by the Germans, he was to be shot | War Tales

I received a phone call recently from Betty Decates, the widow of John Decates, of Port Charlotte. She wanted to know if I could write a little something about her husband who died in December (2003).

Source: At 16 John Decates joined the Dutch Underground during WW II – Captured by the Germans, he was to be shot | War Tales

During Nazi occupation, office supplies became symbols of resistance

silent flip of the collar. A subtle twirl of the hem. If a safety pin was underneath, that person was a friend.

When the Germans occupied Northwestern Europe during World War II, Dutch and Norwegian citizens communicated their national solidarity with tiny devices: safety pins or paper clips. It was inexpensive and universally portable. The trick was…

Source: During Nazi occupation, office supplies became symbols of resistance

A suitcase full of secrets found in Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter after 70 years – DutchNews.nl

The discovery of a suitcase filled with photographs and paintings and hidden in a cupboard in an Amsterdam flat was the beginning of a story stretching back to 1920s Berlin. Gordon Darroch unravels a mystery which plays out across the globe. Cities are shaped by their past: it courses through them like blood, unseen but vital. Charlaine Scholten’s boyfriend told her about the suitcase in his attic shortly…

Source: A suitcase full of secrets found in Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter after 70 years – DutchNews.nl

The only existing film images of Anne Frank, 1941

July 22 1941. The girl next door is getting married. Anne Frank is leaning out of the window of her house in Amsterdam to get a good look at the bride and groom. It is the only time Anne Frank has ever been captured on film. At the time of her wedding, the bride lived on the second floor at Merwedeplein 39. The Frank family lived at number 37, also on the second floor. (via the Anne Frank House)

May 13, 1619: Walk a Mile in His Wooden Shoes

Johan van Olden Barneveldt was a statesman who played an important role in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain. His name is also associated – at least, according to British accounts – wi…

Source: May 13, 1619: Walk a Mile in His Wooden Shoes

A map detailing how far bombers could fly in WWII from the UK mainland (includes return flight) #history #WW2 |

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Source: A map detailing how far bombers could fly in WWII from the UK mainland (includes return flight) #history #WW2

Uncovered: The Spy Who Lost Her Clothes « LAST POST

Betrayed Queen No 1: Anne of Denmark, wife of James VI of Scotland and I of England, by Paul van Somer, 1617. Image: Wikipedia.

A dress recovered from a 400 year old shipwreck reveals secrets from Charles I’s court on the eve of the Civil War. (Source: The Guardian) Betrayed Queen No 1: Anne of Denmark, wife of James …

Source: Uncovered: The Spy Who Lost Her Clothes « LAST POST

17th Century Female Spies Smuggled Information Through Eggs and Artichokes | Atlas Obscura

Source: 17th Century Female Spies Smuggled Information Through Eggs and Artichokes | Atlas Obscura

Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia, sent letters filled with cryptography, ciphers, codes and invisible ink while she was in exile in The Hague. (Photo: Public Domain/Wikipedia Commons)

In the 17th century, espionage was more diverse than you might think. Not only did female spies exist, they employed some of the most fascinating techniques in their information gathering.

Forthcoming research into female spies that operated in Europe and England at the time shows that they utilized an ingenious arsenal of tools, such as eggs and artichokes, to smuggle secrets.

While Dr. Nadine Akkerman of Leiden University was examining letters sent by Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia during her exile in the Hague, she discovered that some were filled with secret codes. The ones delivered through official postal channels contained either false or largely superficial information, while the letters sent via Brussels and Antwerp were filled with ciphers and even…

Source: 17th Century Female Spies Smuggled Information Through Eggs and Artichokes | Atlas Obscura

The World’s Longest War Only Ended in 1986 | Atlas Obscura

Some historians consider England’s Scilly conflict to be the longest war in known history, dragging on for a staggering 335 years. Yet one side was not a country in its own right, there were no casualties for the entire duration, and not a single shot was fired. Neither side even remembered they were still at war until someone checked the paperwork.

All of which begs the question: if war is declared but neither nation remembers, does it still count?

The Isles of Scilly are five inhabited islands and a multitude of other uninhabited rocks off the coast of Cornwall at the southwestern tip of England. With a population of roughly 2,000, the islands rely on fishing and tourism as…

Source: The World’s Longest War Only Ended in 1986 | Atlas Obscura

Tulip Mania: Madness in the 17th Century Netherlands | A R T L▼R K

On the 3rd of February 1637, the tulip mania collapsed in the United Provinces (now the Netherlands) as sellers could no longer find buyers for their bulb contracts. Tulip mania refers to a period in the Dutch Golden Age during which contract prices for tulip bulbs reached astronomical levels. This phenomenon resulted in all kinds of financial speculations, gambling, and, in the aftermath of this period, had a disastrous impact on Dutch commerce.

The first tulips were brought to Europe from Turkey around 1554. Allegedly, Ogier de Busbecq, the ambassador of Ferdinand I to the Sultan of Turkey, sent the first tulip bulbs to Vienna, from where they were soon distributed to Augsburg, Antwerp and Amsterdam. The flowers’ unusual nature and exotic beauty quickly caught the eyes of the wealthy. That is why initially the possession of tulips was attributed to status. With time, however, the tulip mania spread among the people of all backgrounds and financial resources.

“In 1634, the rage among the Dutch to possess them was so great that the ordinary industry of the country was neglected, and the population, even to its lowest dregs, embarked in the tulip trade. As the mania increased, prices augmented, until…

Source: Tulip Mania: Madness in the 17th Century Netherlands | A R T L▼R K