Tag Archives: Dutch

Holland America & Rotterdam: From Rotterdam, Many Left for a New Life

25 Apr

ROTTERDAM, the Netherlands — They came from Russia, Poland, Germany and Ukraine, bearing tickets bought in the field offices of the Holland America Line passenger ships. They were fleeing the pogroms, escaping tyrants, running from war or just seeking a better life. About two million people made their way to Rotterdam harbor during the peak years from 1880 to 1920 to begin a trans-Atlantic journey that would often end at Ellis Island.

The stories of these migrants inspired the former Rijksmuseum director, Wim Pijbes, and the group he leads, Stichting Droom en Daad (Foundation Dream and Do), to transform a crumbling warehouse on the Rotterdam piers into a kind of Dutch sister-site to Ellis Island. The nonprofit organization he directs, founded in 2016 to support arts in Rotterdam, acquired a city permit in March to turn the old Holland America Line warehouse into an institution that will commemorate those journeys.

So begins Nina Siegal’s New York Times story on the Holland America Line site in Rotterdam. You may read the rest of the post here.


Celebrating a medieval ‘Miracle of Amsterdam’ in city better known for its vices

9 Apr

AMSTERDAM (RNS) — Several thousand faithful braved below-freezing wind chills on a recent weekend night and filed quietly through the streets of a city more typically known for its red-light district vices than for its religiosity.

The hourlong Stille Omgang, or “silent walk,” held every year on a Saturday night around midnight a couple weeks before Easter, commemorates a medieval miracle and a post-Reformation time when Catholics were forbidden from displaying their faith publicly.

It’s a subdued ritual that stands in contrast to the extravagant processions found in other countries with a rich Catholic heritage.

So begins Menachem Wecker’s report on a Catholic ritual in contemporary Netherlands. You may read the rest of his report here.

There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever

18 Sep

A new movie sets its doomed entrepreneurs amidst 17th-century “tulipmania”—but historians of the phenomenon have their own bubble to burst. Read Lorraine Boissoneault’s report at the Smithsonian on historian Anne Goldgar’s work on tulipmania here: There Never Was a Real Tulip Fever | History | Smithsonian

Lions, the Dutch, and Maps

21 Jun

Back in the 16th century, the “Leo Belgicus” helped the Netherlands win a long war for independence. Read Cara Giaimo’s fascinating illustrated post about this here at Atlas Obscura: The Lion-Shaped Maps That United a Nation – Atlas Obscura

Only 30 Dutch Wooden Shoe Makers Remain

6 Apr

The traditional trade is in trouble in the Netherlands: Only 30 Dutch Wooden Shoe Makers Remain | Smart News | Smithsonian

Dispelling Darkness: A Christian Paradox

17 Dec

Historian Kristin Du Mez offers some wise words for us as Christmas nears: Dispelling Darkness: A Christian Paradox – Anxious Bench

Bringing the Spirit of (Medieval) Santa Back to Christmas

30 Nov

Historian Beth Allison Barr offers some historically-informed reflections on Christmas past and present. (Also, her reflections seem apropos Sinterklaas Day, which will soon be observed here in Orange City.) Read Barr’s Anxious Bench post here: Bringing the Spirit of (Medieval) Santa Back to Christmas – Anxious Bench

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