There is a lot more to know about the city of The Hague, the Bezuidenhout neighbourhood and the war period. This page contains a range of organisations that can liven up the history of the neighbourhood with walks, special exhibitions, presentations and lessons. We would like to invite you to view all the different possibilities.
In cooperation with the Haags Gemeentearchief (The Hague Municipal Archives), the Bibliotheek Haagse Hout (Library) has put together a teaching package about the bombing for primary schools, level 7 and 8. 'The library organises lots of lessons for children focused on reading, reading out loud and other fun activities. Telling children, and letting them discover, what happened in this neighbourhood is a very different subject, but very special', says librarian Fenny Staverman. 'At times, children can be very noisy during the lesson, but they are always quiet when we are dealing with the war, and they want to know more. They always are very interested', adds Eline Zantvoort from the Hague municipal archives.
The program starts by looking at photos of the street from before and after the bombing. 'By looking at a map which shows the damage, the children can see whether their own house was bombed. This encourages them to think about what it means to loose your home − your possessions are gone and your friends and acquaintances are suddenly no more. The children then prepare questions they can later ask to someone that actually experienced the bombing'.
The children are welcomed on the platform between the books, where different eye witnesses will tell their story. 'They are all in their 80s and personally experienced the bombing. They feel it is very important to continue telling their story. Especially now, when we can no longer imagine that something like this could happen. This is precisely why it is important to tell the children what happened and what the consequences were', tells Staverman.
Bibliotheek Haagse Hout
Theresiastraat 195, 2593 AJ Den Haag
T. +31 (0)70-353750 | www.bibliotheekdenhaag.nl
The Bibliotheek Haagse Hout (library) has been a Historic Information Point (HIP) since September 2014. In the HIP, you can discover the history of your own street, neighbourhood and the city of The Hague. The digital heritage table is exceptional and is the starting point for your journey of discovery through The Hague. Photos of the Haagse Bos will appear as soon as you scan your library card. You can also search for photos of the street you used to live in, or of the school you went to. You can then email the photos to yourself so you can take a look at home as well. You can also see historic movies and there is a special book collection.
The HIP is a joint venture of The Hague heritage partners (The Hague Municipal Archives, the Library, the Archaeology Department, the Monument Preservation and Welfare Department, and the Historical Museum of the Hague). They organise a wonderful program full of activities, exhibitions and study programs.
Bibliotheek Haagse Hout & Historic Information Point
Theresiastraat 195, Den Haag
T. +31 (0)70-353750 | www.bibliotheekdenhaag.nl
Stadhuis - Spui 70, Den Haag
To celebrate the 35th anniversary of the residents' association, Wijkberaad Bezuidenhout, published a booklet containing four walks through the neighbourhood, each with its own theme. The first two bare the name 'Bezuidenhout into the breach, 35 years of resident's participation' and show the achievements of the residents' association in Bezuidenhout-Oost and Bezuidenhout-Midden. The third walk 'Bezuidenhout rebels' passes addresses of the resistance and the fourth 'Bezuidenhout unique and diverse' is based on the theme of architecture, urban construction and public spaces. The booklet is available free of charge (in Dutch only) from the residents' association, Wijkberaad Bezuidenhout.
Bezuidenhout West is an exceptional area in the neighbourhood. This lively area is wedged between offices and main roads. The houses are from before the war, the seventies and there are new builds. The striking building, the Witte Anna, is a high-rise block of flats in the Jan van Riebeekstraat near central station. This area was really well connected with the rest of the neighbourhood before the disaster of 3 March 1945. Most of the houses survived the bombing, but not the subsequent reconstruction plan. The arrival of the Utrechtsebaan, the Bernardviaduct, and the expansion of the station, with Babylon and the government offices next door, meant the neighbourhood was a candidate for demolition. These plans were successfully halted by protests from the residents. You will be able to see more about this neighbourhood and its history on three photo information boards along the route. These are also marked on the walking route, 'Historic walk through Bezuidenhout'.
T. +31 (0)70-3150902 | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.bezuidenhout.nl
The Haagse Bos (City forest) still has some secret locations that reveal some of the history of the neighbourhood and the city. The remains of Atlantic Wall bunkers can be found under a few of the hills. And did you know that all the paths in the woods have a name? The filosofenpad will lead you from the bunkers to Huis ten Bosch, and runs parallel to the Benoordenhoutseweg. The forester from Staatsbosbeheer (forestry commission), who owns and looks after this beautiful city forest, tells you more about its secrets.
Staatsbosbeheer, forester Jenny van Leeuwen
Boslaan 12, Den Haag T. +31 (0)70-3851050 | E. email@example.com | www.staatsbosbeheer.nl
Most people that come to The Hague will turn left into the city. But if you turn right, you will arrive in a typical Hague neighbourhood that still has some of its former grandeur. Bezuidenhout is primarily a residential neighbourhood with houses from all the architectural periods and styles. The neighbourhood has been growing steadily since the 20th century, primarily because its a desirable residential location. In a single blow, the devastating bombing of 3 March 1945 destroyed many things of beauty. However some things did remain, and new construction took place. The neighbourhood is seen as an ideal location, in particular for offices, to be close to the rest of the world, but in a familiar environment. The guides from Het Gilde Den Haag are happy to show people around and help them discover the special places in Bezuidenhout.
Het Gilde Den Haag
T. +31 (0)70-3561281 | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.gildedenhaag.nl
'Remember, learn, discover', the Stichting Atlantikwall Museum (Atlantic Wall Museum Foundation) uses these three words to invite people to view one of the Atlantic Wall bunkers. The Atlantic Wall covered a large area of Kijkduin and Scheveningen, right up to Bezuidenhout. Many of the bunkers are hidden under sand, but a few are open to the public. The flagship is the command bunker in the Widerstandsnest 318 complex (Verteidigungsstab Badhuisweg) in Scheveningen. A personnel bunker has also been set up in this complex and a toilet bunker has been made accessible. The bunkers are open from April to September. There is also a study programmdevised specifically for schools. Guides will explain to students about the war, the Atlantic Wall and the consequences for The Hague and Scheveningen − all in the dramatic bunkers.
Would you like to see more of the Atlantic Wall than just the bunkers? Then join a guide from Het Gilde Den Haag on a walking tour to see the remains of what were the Clingendael citadel and the Nazi Germany command center during the Second World War. There are even some traces from the First World War. The walk starts at the line 9 streetcar stop on the Riouwstraat, on the corner of Groenhovenstraat and ends near the Boshut (forest cabin) on the Badhuisstraat. Additional information from Het Gilde Den Haag.
Stichting Atlantikwall Museum Scheveningen
T. +31 (0)70–3555604 | E. email@example.com | www.atlantikwallmuseum.nl
The Haags Historisch Museum (Historical Museum of the Hague) is located where members of the shooting club, the Sint-Sebastiaansgilde, used to meet. The museum beside the Hofvijver (royal lake) presents the history and development of The Hague. Beautiful cityscapes from artists such as Jan van Goyen, Jan Ten Compe and P.C. La Farque, and objects that include a sedan chair and silverware, bring life to the stories that include figures such as members of the House of Orange, the De Witt brothers and Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. Permanent collections and temporary exhibitions show characteristic facets of The Hague, both past and present.
The War Room tells about The Hague during the Second World War. It deals with several different subjects including daily life, the Atlantic Wall, the bombing of Bezuidenhout and the persecution of the Jews. You can see a selection of the 3D photos made by the resistance photographer Wim Berssenbrugge. There is also a display of striking personal possessions, such as a necklace and two sintered vases retrieved from the smouldering ashes of Bezuidenhout.
Haags Historisch Museum
Korte Vijverberg 7, Den Haag
T. +31 (0)70-3646940 | E. firstname.lastname@example.org | www.haagshistorischmuseum.nl
Text: Lia van den Broek, Mark Hoogland.
Sources: Bibliotheek Den Haag, Bibliotheek Haagse Hout, Bezuidenhout.nl, Staatsbosbeheer, Het Gilde Den Haag, Stichting Atlantikwall Museum, Haags Historisch Museum, Bezuidenhout Nieuws (februari 2015).
Images: Bibliotheek Haagse Hout, Haags Gemeentearchief.
Translation: TvS Vertalingen, Stichting 3 March '45.
Editor: Stichting 3 maart '45.