Wed, March 11, 2009
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Would you help a Jew, asks WWII show

2009-03-11 03:24:02 GMT2009-03-11 11:24:02 (Beijing Time)  Reuters

A new exhibition about the Second World War is testing visitors in Amsterdam by asking them questions like "Would you hide a Jew from the Nazis?"

It looks like a relic from the second world war but 'The Bunker' is in fact a brand new museum.

It's just opened it's rather unusual doors in the centre of Amsterdam.

(SOUNDBITE) (English), JOHN SIJMONSBERGEN, ORGANIZER, SAYING:

"We are aiming on people that don't visit museums and this is a project which is very effective in reaching that goal."

The inside of the eight metre wide room has also been made to look like a concrete bunker.

It shows images many Dutch people would have encountered during the early 1940s.

(SOUNDBITE) (English), JOHN SIJMONSBERGEN, ORGANIZER, SAYING IN THE BUNKER:

"It could be your house, it could be my house and in peace time it's a nice place to live, but in war time you hear different sounds, there appear different signs in the landscape - verboden voor joden (forbidden for jews) - hiding places, so normal, living area becomes a war area."

Almost one in four Dutch Jews - that's more than 100,000 people - were killed by the Nazis.

And the exhibition also presents visitors with some chilling dilemmas.

ACTUALITY:

"Hi, I am Simon Goldsmith from the second floor."

Simon is seeking refuge from the Nazis but you risk your life if you let him in.

(SOUNDBITE) (English), JOHN SIJMONSBERGEN, ORGANIZER, SAYING:

"The visitor is asked will you open the door or not? Will you open the door and let your jewish neighbour in, the little boy whose parents are carried away by the Germans? Or not?"

The exhibition is aimed at those who have no knowledge of life during the war and nowadays that's five out of six people in Holland

Few would wish real life or death dilemmas on today's generation.

But many hope appreciating the agonies of the past may help prevent new horrors in the future.

Sonia Legg, Reuters.

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