Netherlands unveils memorial to Holocaust victims with names of 102 000 Jews, Roma and Sinti murdered by the Nazis
Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA) reports that the National Holocaust Names Memorial (Nationaal Holocaust Namenmonument) has been officially unveiled in Amsterdam after the resolution of legal disputes that lasted several years. King Willem-Alexander attended the ceremonial unveiling in person.
The memorial was designed by Daniel Libeskind, a Polish-American architect, and it was initiated by the Netherlands Auschwitz Committee (Nederlands Auschwitz Comité). It is the first memorial to include the names of all 102 000 Jews, Roma and Sinti from the Netherlands who were murdered during the Second World War by the Nazis.
Financed mostly by donations, the memorial is located in Amsterdam's city center, near the Jewish Quarter. It is built of brick walls past which visitors walk.
On the surface of the walls are burnished plaques of stainless steel reflecting the surrounding trees and sky, representing four Hebrew letters that mean "in memoriam". Each brick is inscribed with the name of a victim, his or her birthdate, and the age at which he or she died.
"This memorial restores the names of these victims 76 years after the war's end and proves they lived," Jacques Grishaver, chair of the Netherlands Auschwitz Committee, told DPA. According to him, the memorial is important to the Jewish community as a place of education and remembrance.
Local residents attempted to prevent the memorial from being built by taking legal action, claiming to be concerned about an influx of visitors and complaining about its size. The Netherlands Supreme Court allowed it to be built at the close of 2019, but Grishaver noted that the decision came too late for many Holocaust survivors to see the memorial in place.
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