On the 15th of May 2017 the Foundation Onderduikersmuseum De Duikelaar was established. This was prompted by the sale of a unique historic building in Nieuwlande which we wanted to preserve as a monument for the village and wanted to transform into a museum. Once we embarked on the planning of a museum we continued independently of the building, as convinced as we were of our mission
Nieuwlande has a special war history as is testified by the Yad Vashem distinction that was presented on 13 March 1985 to the village as a whole.
It is our mission to collect, preserve and present the history of Nieuwlande and its surroundings during the Second World War in a material and immaterial sense. By means of the museum we want to keep the history of Nieuwlande in the years ‘40-’45 alive and pass it along to the younger generations, not only as a tribute to famous resistance heroes like Johannes Post, but also to the numerous villagers that silently risked their lives by taking people into hiding. Foundation Onderduikersmuseum De Duikelaar wants to give an impression of the war and the dilemmas that were involved.
At almost the same time as the sale of the historical building in Nieuwlande the collection Schonewille became unattended. We want to preserve this collection and make it accessible to the public again. The collection of Jo Schonewille’s museum “Nieuwlande 1940-1945, a village that kept silent” consists of numerous photos, newspapers, pamphlets, posters and books on the history of hiding people in the village of Nieuwlande, in general and of Johannes Post, Arnold Douwes and Rev. Slomp, also known as Frits the Wander, in particular. These nationally renowned people have left an strong imprint on the village.