fries verzetsmuseum (frisian resistance museum) part of the fries museum

The Fries Verzetsmuseum's ('Fries Resistance Museum') presentation can be viewed on the second floor of the Fries Museum (Museum of Friesland). The entirely updated exhibition is devoted to the impact of the Second World War in Friesland. It is a deeply moving and confrontational story that sets the mind to work. A visit to the Fries Verzetsmuseum is a meeting with the Frisian people during the years 1940 to 1945. 


When war prevails people have to make difficult choices. What would you do in such circumstances? The presentation in the Fries Verzetsmuseum allows you to experience the impact of the Second World War in Friesland, and how it resonates to this day. Individual stories, objects, photographs, film fragments and documents retell stories that are passed down from generation to generation.

'shoes of madness'

The presentation revolves around individual stories and the stories behind the actual objects such as the ostensibly insignificant ‘Schoenen van de Waanzin’ (‘Shoes of Madness’). During the war these shoes made a remarkable journey from an American pilot via a German soldier to a Jewish person in hiding. This tale illustrates that thinking in terms of black and white or good and evil frequently has no bearing on reality.

'the raid'

One of the most spectacular acts of resistance in Friesland during the war is undoubtedly ‘De Overval’ (‘The Raid’). On 8 December 1944 the prison, the ‘Huis van Bewaring’, in Leeuwarden was overrun by the armed resistance, the ‘Knokploegen’ (‘Strong-arm Boys’). Fifty-one resistance fighters managed to escape within half an hour without a shot being fired. The Fries Verzetsmuseum tells the story of this famous act of resistance from the perspective of the various people involved and examines the problems associated with executing the raid.

de overval