Posted by: Kath Usitalo | May 4, 2010

Hurry To Holland For Bevrijding

Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag.

No, those are not names of Icelandic volcanoes.

They are Dutch for Remembrance Day and Liberation Day, May 4 and 5 in the Netherlands.

The back-to-back observances formally recognize those who perished in wars as well as peacekeeping missions and acts of terrorism since WWII, and the end of the German occupation that gripped the country between 1940-45.

Among those lost in WWII Netherlands were members of the Dutch Resistance, the subject of a special exhibit at the Holland Museum in Michigan’s west coast city, through May 16, 2010.

Authentic Dutch windmill at Holland's Windmill Island

Bevrijding (liberation): Images from the Dutch Resistance, is a small but moving exhibition of a dozen black-and-white lino cut prints made by three artists to celebrate the end of the Nazi rule.

Jan Hubertus, J. Jaspers and Jacq Stal were members of the Dutch Resistance, the effort of citizens against the occupation. Each artist contributed four works to the series of scenes of daily life under the oppression, from the Dutch listening hopefully to Radio Oranje, to the destruction by the Resistance of their own bridges to impede Nazi progress, the Germans seizing farmers’ horses, and jubilation at the end of the nightmare.

An excellent documentary accompanies the print pieces; unfortunately I saw only about 20 minutes of the 90-minute The Reckoning: Remembering the Dutch Resistance, which features six survivors and their experiences under Nazi rule, with historical photos and footage.

Make time to watch the entire program in the cozy Focus Gallery surrounded by the bold, graphic depiction—in just 12 scenes—of what those folks endured and what they celebrate 65 years later.

A strip of buildings at Windmill Island depicts Dutch architecture

The Holland Museum permanent exhibit is a timeline about the history of the area, which Dutch Calvinists settled in 1847.

Upstairs, the museum’s Dutch Galleries are home to fine and decorative 17th to 19th century art pieces from the Netherlands.

The annual Tulip Time Festival continues through May 8.

Visitor Info Click: Holland visitor information.

A sampling of the 5.5 million tulips planted at Veldheer Tulip Farm, Holland, Michigan

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