Antwerp commemorates World War II with cycling and walking routes and various activities

This spring, the City of Antwerp, together with various partners, is organising a series of fascinating activities around World War II. For instance, the City launching a cycling and walking route around the theme: ‘Resistance in Antwerp‘. 

In addition, numerous exciting initiatives are taking place, which are part of ‘Antwerp Commemorates‘. With this memorial project, the City of Antwerp wants to keep the memory of the Second World War and the persecution of the Jews alive.

Cycling and walking route ‘The Resistance in Antwerp’

The ‘Resistance in Antwerp’ walk through the city center of Antwerp and the bike ride in the districts of Deurne and Merksem lead past places that played a crucial role in the resistance. Both routes introduce the participant to the often forgotten stories of Antwerp resistance fighters. The stories of resistance members, researched by the Felix archive, are told by an actor so that the walker or cyclist experiences the events. Participants can find the routes and accompanying stories via FARO‘s ErfgoedApp.

Both routes take approximately two hours. The cycling tour is 15 km long and starts at the Ten Eekhovelei in Deurne. The end point of this instructive tour is in the Lakborslei. The 3 km walk starts at Otto Veniusstraat and ends at Rijnkaai.

Mayor Bart De Wever (N-VA): “The valuable contribution of the Antwerp resistance in the fight against the Nazi occupation has remained unknown for too long. The resistance members naturally worked in secret, which meant that it took a long time after the war before their earnings came to the surface. This year we therefore want to make room in Antwerp’s commemoration policy to bring the many acts of resistance by both known and unknown resistance members to the attention of a wider public. With a walk, a bike ride and an extensive commemoration program, we want to get to know Antwerp residents and visitors the poignant stories of the Antwerp resistance.”

Programme Antwerp Remembers

  • Stolen Memory‘, pop-up expo; next to the Museum aan de Stroom (MAS); 5 to 22 May. This traveling exhibition, a modular container that has already been placed in many significant places in Belgium, will be located on the Oostendekaai next to the MAS. The exhibition tells the poignant story of ten deported prisoners and shows their belongings, which were taken by the Nazis upon their arrest. It’s about watches, jewelry, family photos and intimate small items. Organizer Arolsen Archives keeps those possessions and is now looking for the rightful owners. After a tour through several European countries such as Germany and Poland, the exhibition has its last stop at the MAS. Visitors can come here from 5 to 22 May, from 9 AM to 5 PM. Discover some stories behind objects here.
  • Open houses; different locations; 6 and 7 May. On Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 May, 24 houses, schools and community centers in four Antwerp districts will open their doors to personal stories from the Second World War. Storytellers, visitors and residents share stories about fellow citizens at locations that are always meaningful to the story being told. Participation is free, but it is recommended to reserve a place in advance. Visitors can register separately for each meeting via the website:
  • Study day ‘Steds Vereenigd? The resistance in Antwerp during the Second World War‘; Felix Archive, 10 May. During a study day in the Felix Archive on Wednesday 10 May, various academics and experts will examine the role of the resistance in Antwerp. Speakers are Babette Weyns (UGent), Michèle Corthals (UAntwerpen), Janiv Stamberger (Peace Center), Herman Van Goethem (UAntwerpen) and Dorien Styven (Kazerne Dossin). There is also a round-table discussion with Marnix Beyen (UAntwerpen), Bruno De Wever (UGent) and Nico Wouters (CegeSoma). Participation is free, but registration is required and can be done by mail to
  • Book presentation ‘Stadskronieken, WOII‘; pavilion MAS; 8 June. Fifteen families and four generations set to work to put their family story about the Second World War on paper. In this book, an edition of the ‘City Chronicles‘ series, they answer the central questions: what did the war mean for their family? And how do the war stories live on? The ‘City Chronicles’ series is an initiative of ErfgoedLab Antwerpen, which uses these publications to support Antwerp residents to share their heritage stories from the city. Read more about the city chronicles.

Antwerp Commemorates

These initiatives are part of Antwerp Commemorates. The program with all activities and stories can be found at

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