Jan Meisels Allen
A visitor touches one of the name stones in a new monument in Amsterdam King of Netherlands at Memorial Anne Frank Stone at Memorial
honoring the more than 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust.
(Peter Dejong / Associated Press)
King Willem-Alexander officially unveiled a new memorial in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic Jewish Quarter on Sunday honoring more than 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust, and the Dutch prime minister vowed that it would remind citizens today to be vigilant against antisemitism.
Designed by Polish-Jewish architect Daniel Libeskind, the memorial is made up of walls shaped to form four Hebrew letters spelling out a word that translates as “In Memory Of.”
The walls are built using bricks, each of which is inscribed with the name, date of birth and age when they died of one of the more than 102,000 Jews, Roma and Sinti who were murdered in Nazi concentration camps during World War II or who died on their way to the camps.
It was paid for in part by crowdfunding: 84,000 people paid 50 euros each to sponsor one of the bricks. Construction of the memorial faced years of delays, amid disputes about where it should be built, the cost and the design. The €15 million ($17.6 million) monument was funded by private donations and Amsterdam and other municipalities.
Before the Holocaust there were around 140,000 Jews living in the Netherlands. By the war's end, more than two thirds of the country's Jewish population had been murdered by the Nazis.
The memorial is built close to a former concert hall where Jews rounded up by Amsterdam’s wartime Nazi occupiers were held before being sent to the camps.
Jan Meisels Allen
Chairperson, IAJGS Public Records Access Monitoring Committee