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…
It’s About Time: Frost Fair on the Thames in London – 1683-84
When the ice on the Thames at London was thick enough in 1683-84, a frost fair was held. In 1683-84, pedestrians, sleds, & coaches could cross the Thames on the ice for 7 weeks. It was reported that “whole streets of Booths” sprung up which thousands of Londoners visited.
Frost fairs were already common elsewhere in northern Europe, such as the Netherlands. During London’s Great Frost of 1683–84, the Thames was completely frozen for 2 months, with the ice reaching a thickness of 11″ at the site of the city. When the ice was thick enough…
Source: It’s About Time: Frost Fair on the Thames in London – 1683-84.
From Holland to Bavaria: The quest starts at Dachau
Dachau is a place that can not really be described, and I’m not going to try. But seeing the vast roll-call space, let alone the registration building, execution area, gas chamber and ovens is enough to set your hair on end. Yes, it is real. It really happened. And what happened is beyond my imagination. And that hits home as I walk through the gate with the well-known horrific slogan ‘Arbeit macht frei’. That first impact, and the feeling of walking amongst ghosts will stay with me. And then to think my uncle might have been there.
Initially I went to Dachau as a gesture of respect to my uncle, who died when he was 22 years old at the hands of the Nazis in Germany. And I left Dachau with an incredible urge to…
On This Day in 1929 – The Birth of Anne Frank
Annelis Marie Frank, or Anne Frank, is incredibly famous for her diary, which was published in 1947 by her father, Otto Frank. As the story commonly goes, she was a victim of the Holocaust and hid in an annex until she was discovered and met a tragic death at the hands of the Nazis. It is after this point that most people draw a blank. You might know the odd person who has read her diary and is able to comment that it is a deeply moving coming of age tale against the backdrop of the struggle she faced under Nazi occupation.
On this day, as we remember Anne Frank coming into the world, let us take the opportunity to learn more about her story.
Anne Frank was the younger of two children and had a sister called Margot, who was three years older than her. In 1933, when Anne…
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Happy Birthday Mata Hari
NAME: Mata Hari
OCCUPATION: Spy, Dancer
BIRTH DATE: August 7, 1876
DEATH DATE: October 15, 1917
EDUCATION: Teachers’ College in Leiden
PLACE OF BIRTH: Leeuwarden, Netherlands
PLACE OF DEATH: Vincennes, France
BEST KNOWN FOR: Mata Hari was a professional dancer and mistress who became a spy for France during World War I. Suspected of being a double agent, she was executed in 1917.
Mata Hari was born Margaretha Geertruida Zelle in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, on August 7, 1876, to father Adam Zelle, a hat merchant who went bankrupt due to bad investments, and mother Antje Zelle, who fell ill and died when Mata Hari was 15 years old. Following her mother’s death, Mata Hari and her three brothers were split up and sent to live with various relatives.
At an early age, Mata Hari decided that sexuality was her ticket in life. In…
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