Eyewitnesses tell



What was the occupation during the 1940s like for them? And after the liberation? An eyewitness tells the story.


For whom?
Group 7 and 8


Work format
An eyewitness tells his or her personal story about the Battle of Arnhem in the Airborne Museum or in the classroom. Telling eyewitnesses’ can only be booked in combination with the educational programme ‘Koffers vol verhalen’ (Boxes full of stories).


60 minutes


For whom?
First grade VMBO, HAVO and VWO


Work format
An eyewitness tells his or her personal story about the Battle of Arnhem in the Airborne Museum or in the classroom. Telling eyewitnesses’ can only be booked in combination with one of our educational programmes.


60 minutes


Suitcases with stories

The pupils first get an interactive introduction about the Battle of Arnhem and then they go on an independent investigation with their suitcase in the museum. After the pupils have learned the story of their suitcase, they share their findings with each other. At the end of the lesson a visit is made to the Airborne Experience in the basement.

The lesson Suitcases full of Stories links up perfectly with the canonical window The Second World War.


For whom?
Group 5, 6, 7 and 8


Work format
Independent work, starting and ending together


Two hours including a visit to the Airborne Experience in the basement.



For whom
First grade VMBO, HAVO, VWO (NL/EN/TTO). Special Education? Please contact us.


Work format
Independent work after a common introduction, with common closure.


Two hours, including visit Airborne Experience.

We are free

What is freedom? What is it like when you lose your freedom? On the website, you will find four personal stories about unfreedom, the Second World War and wars today. Four people tell what their lives were like when they were still free, how everything suddenly changed and how important freedom is to them now. By watching and listening to the stories on this website, children learn to think about the value of freedom for themselves and others. 



Young at war

In the video series Young at War, eyewitnesses talk about their childhood in the Second World War. The videos are arranged by theme and last about 10 minutes. In cooperation with Schooltv, they have been specially developed for use in the classroom. There are now 24 videos on various subjects.

View on freedom

Educative guide compiled by: Jan Durk Tuinier, Peace Education Foundation
Teaching material for group 7 and 8 of primary school, secondary schools and MBO’s


The teacher’s guide can be downloaded as pdf here

With the educational programme ‘Blik op Vrijheid’, pupils empathise with the stories of the main characters. How does it feel as a little boy to find your city destroyed and have to go into hiding in another city? And how does it affect you when you have to report to the police in a new country as a refugee? What actually happened in Hungary in 1956, and were exiles from Chile in the 1970s? These and many other questions pupils get to work with after seeing the six film portraits of Teun Jordaan (1940), Otto Szauer (1956), Benito Sanchez and Coty Salazar (1976), Ziba Nilian (1994), Abdel Tarakji (2012) and Sham Hassan (2016). The viewing guide, accompanying questions and other creative work formats are described in the first part of the educational manual

more about EDUCATIon


The emigration generation

During the educational project The Emigration Generation, children between the ages of 10 and 14 go in small groups to collect the migration stories of grandparents. The children enjoy the stories of migrant grandparents and immerse themselves in their lives. The emigration generation opens children’s eyes and teaches them all kinds of new skills at the same time. From conducting a good interview to presenting their self-written story.


In my neighbourhood

Stichting In mijn Buurt stands for learning by meeting between young and old. Since 2015, we have been pairing primary school pupils with elderly people with the aim of creating understanding for the other and breaking down prejudices. During personal encounters, the children interview older people about a part of Dutch history, such as the colonial past, migration or the Second World War. In workshops, the children learn how to pass on the stories themselves.


This meeting education, in which more than 3,000 children have already taken part, is a new way of learning. The focus is not on textbooks, but on the contact between different generations and the personal history of people in their own neighbourhood. At the end of the programme, the pupils receive the title Heritage Bearer, with which they promise to take responsibility for the story of the elderly and their neighbourhood.



Story House Belvédère

For (Rotterdam) schools, Verhalenhuis Belvédère makes tailor-made educational programmes about citizenship, language and the encounter with the city.


Citizenship / Meeting

The Story House offers an accessible meeting place where you can get acquainted with the stories of Rotterdammers. In these encounters connections are made and prejudices are broken. You get to know new perspectives and other ways of thinking and you connect with the city.


Migration History

The Story House organises workshops and facilitates encounters in which the (migration) history of various Rotterdam communities is central: in order to connect, it is important to take note of each other’s history.


Story & Language

We invite pupils to tell about their lives and to adopt a curious and listening attitude. Stories are an accessible way to work with language and can form a bridge between the pupil and his environment.


Eyewitnesses in the classroom

Many teachers invite guest speakers into the classroom when they are teaching about the Second World War. These guest speakers are usually people who experienced the Second World War and who talk about it in class.


Now that there are fewer and fewer eyewitnesses to the Second World War among us, the question is whether, and if so how, filmed interviews with eyewitnesses to the Second World War can be used to fill this gap.

Ancestors unKnown Netherlands

The hidden stories that come to light through genealogical research are added to the teaching programme. In this way, not only is ‘written’ about, but also ‘written’ by the pupils themselves.


In search of family history
Ancestors unKnown Netherlands is intended for primary and secondary schools. Pupils are invited to go in search of their ancestors and their family history through oral history interviews, genealogical research and archive research. At the same time, they are offered history lessons that offer a multi-voiced perspective on colonial and migration histories.


Watch the knowledge clip about Ancestors unKnown below:

The Ancestors unKnown Family Stories Toolkit for families will be available for purchase starting this fall.


Maybe you have already seen our Family Stories Toolkit on the social media. It is a package that allows children to talk to their families and share stories.


The Toolkit contains a booklet with questions and assignments, Family Stories cards, a family tree sheet, ideas for various activities with the family and more….


The toolkit is one of the projects of the alliance ‘The incredible stories of our ancestors’.


The Family Stories Toolkit is compiled by Dana Saxon (founder of Ancestors unKnown) and Helen Sumter (project manager Ancestors unKnown Netherlands), designed by Helma Timmermans and (final) edited by Maartje Oome.