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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Day 9

     It was so nice to just sleep in today. I'm tired of 6am wake up calls... Which we just take the phone off the hook anyways. Anyways, we were lucky enough to have a tour guided by Tessa Dikker, an urban sociologist and lecturer at the University of Amsterdam (UvA). She started the tour by showing us old Lutheran Church (owned by the University), and from there, we were quizzed on our knowledge of Amsterdam. Although we toured through Dam Square and the Red Light District, a large part of the tour was based around the Jewish Quarter within the city. The Jewish (Sophradic) people of Amsterdam were forcibly in the city due to the issues with their home countries (Portugal and Spain).

The entrance to the hidden Catholic church, the Parrot, also known as the shelter church.

     In the picture below, the Freedom Statue stands to commemorate those lives lost during World War II and actually in any war. On May 4th, at 8:00, there is a 2 minute silence within all of Amsterdam, not one word.

The day after May 4th, they celebrate their freedom.

     Also in Dam Square, the city hall was built between 1648-1655, now a palace (which Napoleon Bonaparte's brother changed into a palace) that was once inhabited by the king and queen. However, the queen did not like living amongst Amsterdam's people.

     Black Betty had a child and her name was Blue Betty. This lovely little café had such a beautiful assortment of baked goods, one of those being a beautiful piece of banana bread with a Nutella and peanut butter whipped frosting (not pictured). They also featured breads, all of which were gluten-free. Not only is this city progressive, but they are extremely aware of food allergens and health conscious. 

     Tessa took us to Schouwburg, the heart of the Jewish quarter, they rounded up all of the Jewish families within Amsterdam before they were shipped out to the World War II concentration camps. In 1962 it became a memorial and a place of remembrance for those lives lost. 

     At the end of the tour, Tessa guided us to the Dutch Resistance Museum. The note below was written in an area of the museum where anyone could leave messages of hope for those affected directly by World War II and Nazi Germany. My note reads, "People today still think that what happened to the Jewish did not happen. History DOES repeat itself."

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