On 8 September 2023, a new exhibition at the Museum Aan de Stroom (Museum At the Stream, MAS) about Antwerp during World War II opens at the MAS. Antwerp was particularly hard hit by the war. Nazi terror, persecution of Jews and military violence killed 25,000 city residents. Captivating personal stories make this important part of history tangible.
On 10 May 1940, Germany invades Belgium. A few days later, the Nazi flag hangs from Antwerp cathedral. The dictatorship divides the city’s inhabitants and leads to the mass persecution of Jews and dissidents. With the port as a strategic military target, there is a permanent military threat. Bombing claims many victims. The city breaks under war and persecution.
How could this happen? What does it mean to live in an occupied city? What happens when basic values such as freedom and equality fall away? Who becomes the main victim of this and who doesn’t? What role do local authorities and police play? What choices do city residents themselves make: flee or stay, cooperate with the occupier, wait and obey or resist? And what would you do?
The exhibition brings to life the society of the time with symbolic places such as a cinema, a school, a house, the cathedral and the city hall.
There, personal stories and objects of Antwerp citizens make the drama of war tangible. Stories of discord, powerlessness, betrayal, violence, but also of courage, resistance and help. Stories which are never to be forgotten.
Traces until today
World War II ended on 8 May 1945 in Europe, but the conflict still leaves traces today, like with the children and grandchildren of people who lived in Antwerp at the time.
In 2020-2021, the MAS organised a call to share personal heritage and stories about Antwerp during the Second World War. More than 300 people came to tell about their relatives, neighbours or acquaintances. Some donated objects or gave them on loan. Some of these testimonies are the basis for the personal stories in the exhibition.
The exhibition came about as part of the long-term city project ‘Antwerpen Herdenkt‘.
Art and museums in Antwerp
- ANTWERP | Baroque Influencers city festival of tradition and renewal.
- REVIEW | Illusion Antwerpen, an active and photogenic museum.
- ANTWERP | Middelheim Museum becoming greener.
- Antwerp museums and sports facilities team up with European Disability Card for accessible leisure activities.
- FOMU 2023 | Reimagined collection, strippers – Nicaragua – Kurdistan and people touching each other.
- ANTWERP 2023 | MoMu fashion museum presents IO Van Oostveldt and Man Ray exhibitions.
- ANTWERP | Rubens House closed for renovation.
- Inside the KMSKA or Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp.
- VIDEO | Inside the Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Antwerp.
- Museum Mayer van den Bergh.
- ANTWERP | ‘Stories of Refuge’ exhibition at Red Star Line Museum.
- 2023 at the museums of Antwerp.
- 2022 in the museums of Antwerp.
- ANTWERP | ‘Stories of refuge’ exhibition at Red Star Line Museum.
- ANTWERP | Inside Rubens House.
- ANTWERP | Garden of renovated Rubens House to be open air exhibition space.
- ModeMuseum MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp 2021.
- ModeMuseum MoMu – Fashion Museum Antwerp 2022.
- ‘Freight’ and ‘Listen’ exhibitions at MAS in Antwerp.
- ‘Masculinities: Liberation through Photography’ exhibition at FOMU, Antwerp’s photography museum.
- ANTWERP | Goshka Macuga’s ‘Figures of Absence’ honours underrepresented women in public domain art.
- Museum Plantin-Moretus in Antwerp.
- ‘Eurasia – A Landscape of Mutability’ exhibition at Antwerp’s M HKA modern arts museum.
- ANTWERP | Geert De Weyer Gallery, a space for illustrators’ and comic strip authors’ art.
- ‘Congoville’: contemporary artists walk colonial paths at Middelheim Museum in Antwerp.
- Antwerp’s Letterenhuis ft. Paul van Ostaijen exhibition.
- Museum Plantin-Moretus will exhibit long-lost illustration by Rubens: ‘Opticorum Libri Sex’.
- ‘100 X Congo’ exhibition at Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp.
- ANTWERP | Museum Vleeshuis up for restoration.
- REVIEW | ‘Cool Japan’ exhibition at Museum Aan de Stroom (MAS) in Antwerp from 18 October 2019 to 19 April 2020.
- BOOK | ‘Antwerp. An Archaeological View on the Origin of the City’ by Tim Bellens.
- Red Star Line Museum.
- Paleis op de Meir.
- DIVA, Antwerp Home of Diamonds.
- ANTWERP | Red Star Line Museum of (e)migration.
- ANTWERP | Museum Mayer van den Bergh is expanding into former District Hall.
- ANTWERP | Traveling exhibition #StolenMemory at Museum At the Stream (MAS).
3 Comments Add yours
Looks like a great building.
Thank’s for share Timothy.
Have an amazing weekend!
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The building is a bit better than the collection 🙊.
Have a wonderful weekend, Elvira.
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Oh! Thank’s for share Timothy.
Wonderful weekend as well.
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