Before I arrived at the town square, I passed the home of Corrie ten Boom, which is above Ten Boom Juweliers located at Barteljorisstraat 19.
Ten Boom was a young Christian woman who, during World War II, was part of the Dutch Resistance and would hide or help relocate Jews who were suffering or likely to suffer persecution at the hands of the Nazis.
The guide spoke frankly about the ten Boom family's faith, the issues they encountered, their losses, and the help they were able to provide to their neighbors who were in danger of or were already being persecuted.
Although ten Boom and members of her family were eventually arrested and spent time in a concentration camp, it's less grim than the Anne Frank house in many ways, but no less interesting.
After the tour, a walk to the town square was in order -- and proved quite enlightening when I realized the Gestapo had taken over the City Hall, which was only a few minutes' stroll from the ten Boom house.
Others I've spoken to were right; Haarlem seems more authentically Dutch than Amsterdam, which is charming city, but a big city nonetheless.
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Photos by Carl Dombek
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