Annual report 2018

2018 was a year in which developments took place that could not have been predicted at the end of 2017. It began with the anti-squatter rent arrangement for a classroom in the unoccupied school on Juliannalaan in Nieuwlande. This provided a roof over our heads and we were able to move the items in that we had been borrowed from the family from the private museum of Jo Schonewille.

We were nicely busy when Kamp Westerbork informed us that the book presentation of The Secret Diary of Arnold Douwes, written by two NIOD scholars, was to take place in Nieuwlande. They wished to mark the occasion by setting up an exhibition and asked us for information and material. The exhibition was to remain in Nieuwlande. And thus the train we had boarded became a roller-coaster ride of events. On 6th of April Max Léons (known as Nico and right hand of Arnold Douwes during the occupation) came to Nieuwlande to open our exhibition and receive the first copy of The Secret Diary. And that was the beginning of our new museum. The following weekend we officially opened by holding an open house for the residents of Nieuwlande. By the end of the week we had registered 500 visitors.

A lot has happened in this first year and the begin phase is far from finished. It is a multi-year project in which we aim to produce a good and lasting museum. We are in very advanced stages of discussion with Hoogeveen Council regarding permanent housing of the museum in the former school.

In 2017 Project Collection S (the removal, conservation and display of the museum contents of Jo Schonewille) was chosen as Kern met Pit project by the Royal Dutch Heather Society.The start took place on 18th January in the Province hall in Assen. Half way through the year, the agreed year of guidance was changed to a multi-year one, considering the scale of the project of setting up a museum. At the end of June, we joined the Platform for Museums in Drenthe. This platform offers, just as the RDHS, expertise, a network and workshops. The cooperation with Camp Westerbork, the guidance of the RDHS and our membership of the Platform for Museums in Drenthe provide a steady basis for the further development of Museum De Duikelaar.

1. In cooperation with Camp Westerbork the exhibition called Never show anyone the door
was organised. The design was provided by Camp Westerbork on the occasion of the presentation of the book The Secret Diary of Arnold Douwes which took place on 6th April in the MFC, after which the group moved on to Museum De Duikelaar, with guest of honour Max Léons, who opened the exhibition.

2. In honour of Jo Schonewille a special corner was dedicated to him. In a display case photographs were shown of what he witnessed at very close quarters as a child during the war and a description of his private museum collection was provided.

3. In the corridor a small collection on the subject of `the illegal press` was presented: pieces from the Dutch newspapers and the special story of Herman and Peter, boys who, in hiding under the church floor, produced the newssheet De Duikelaar, made fake identity papers and drew cartoons.

4. To accommodate a large number of participants in cycling events, an empty classroom was used to house an exhibition called From Surrender to Resistance. A collection of original old posters provide a sketch of how the Netherlands surrendered on 14the May 1940 and how the Germans attempted to fool the nation with propaganda.

On the opposite wall it is shown that not all Dutch citizens accepted the occupation. The starting resistance in Nieuwlande is represented by placing the farmhouse of Johannes Post in a central position and demonstrating who was part of his surrounding resistance group from the beginning.

5. In collaboration with Alexander Ambroze, who participated in the 13th Hoogeveen Art trail, a corner was presented with examples of Entartete Kunst (the term represents all art works the Nazis found offensive) including hasidic prints by Hendrik Werkman, who is an inspiration to Alexander Ambroze and was shot to death in Bakkeveen close to the end of the war. This exhibition forms a flowing transition from the museum to the studio of our neighbour Alexander Ambroze.
6. In the month of December a corner of the museum was dedicated to Wartime Christmas and the Dutch festival of Sinterklaas.. Posters, poems and short stories showed how people always try to make life as pleasant as possible.


25 volunteers attended workshops and courses provided by Platform Drentse Museums and the RDHS. The workshops concerned fund raising, marketing, museum ducation,storytelling,
producing a business plan and the conservation of museum property.

For the first time a children´s programme was presented in the autumn break. Willy Smid in collaboration with Aleexander Ambroze designed the programme, in which 15 children
participated. It was a huge success and warrants repetition.

Boxing Day `Tea and a Story`. The tea and a snack were provided and a Christmas story of past days was told for young and old. It was a successful and pleasant occasion.

The museum participated in cycling tours:on the first and 29th of august. and, in collaboration with the Wemme Museum in a tour between Nieuwlande and Zuidwolde on two dates in
October during which both museums were visited. The existing Duikelaar route map was also adjusted and reprinted.

A start has been made by three volunteers on digitalising the Schonewille collection. This year no interviews have been given due to activities, exhibitions and the removal of the
Schonewille collection.

A total of 2,500 visitors came to the museum from mid April to the end of the year, including three classes of schoolchildren and thirteen other groups. Most of the visitors came from the
three northern provinces, but there were also those from the rest of the Netherlands, Canada and Israel. Information leading to the visits was found on our website, on Facebook,
newspaper articles, TV and flyers. In June the King’s Commissioner, Mrs Jetta Klijnsma, visited the museum.

At the beginning of the year there were expenses but no earnings. Only after the opening and the open weekend could entry tickets be sold. Some money was provided by the sale of The Secret Diary of Arnold Douwes and other titles related to the exhibition, In the course of the summer we began to balance the budget but caution is still required. There is currently no question building a financial buffer. Some funds were brought in by the annual market during the week of festivities in the village, by a small market in connection with one of the cycling events and by the Christmas market, set up and staffed by volunteers. Although not a core activity of the museum, the latter was a welcome contribution.

Subsidies and gifts
The museum received subsidies in 2018 from the RABO bank in Hoogeveen, Vital Countryside, the Smederijen, the VSB fund and the Prins Bernhard Culture fund. Gifts were also received from the RABO Club Action, and Plaatselijk Belang Nieuwlande. These gifts were for the provision of a touchscreen table, which has now been bought and a start made on loading digital content.

The Unive foundation For Each Other gifted us two monitors with usb and headphones. Private individuals also donated money or goods and the Hembrug Mueseum in Zaandam provided us with free superfluous display cases and office furniture. Enthusiastic volunteers collected these goods and delivered them to us.

The Press
The newspaper Hoogeveensche Courant regularly pays attention to the developments around the museum and we even won the cake of the week. The newspaper Dagblad van het Noorden also published an article on the museum. Local tv station RTV Drenthe regularly pays attention to the museum. Harm Dijkstra and Jan van der Sleen investigated our museum in the programme Struunen, We were also guests in Hemmeltied and filming in the Museum took place for inclusion in the programme museumverhalen.

The museum is run and staffed entirely by volunteers and the board members are also unpaid. The first 20 volunteers rapidly grew to 30, following which a large number of people have made themselves available for incidental tasks such as the baking of cakes for the coffee corner, technical tasks or for special events, such as the cycling tours. The participation of the village is considerable.

A number of volunteers has participated in a workshop and consider this as advantageous to their volunteer work. Four volunteers are currently being trained as guides. .

In November the first social activity took place when everyone brought a home-made dish with them. It was a very convivial evening with surprisingly good food. At the end of December we raised our glasses to toast the success of the past year.

The governing board
Jan van der Sleen unfortunately had to resign as secretary, due to conflicting governing activities and family circumstances. He has been replaced by Petra Aarts. Jan still feels deeply committed to the museum and will help us in any way possible.

At the end of December 2017 an anti-squatters rent contract was signed for a classroom at the former school de Hoeksteen in order to safely house and conserve the Schonewille collection. The board has done its utmost to persuade the aldermen involved to provide an agreement to the museum to remain permanently in the school and to extend its activities. Although no definite decision has been made, the negotiations are taking place in a good atmosphere and the prospects are encouraging,

Kern met Pit project
The Royal Dutch Heather Society has declared the Schonewille Collection to be a Kern met Pit project. On 18th January the ball got rolling at the provincial hall in Assen. The RDHS visits the selected projects throughout the year and offers them guidance and expertise. The total museum project, of which the Schonewille collection was a part, was found so impressive that an exception was made to enable guiding the museum for a number of years instead of the customary one year.. The board gratefully accepted this and looks forward to this collaboration in the coming year,