The Netherlands Unveils its First National Holocaust Monument

Amsterdam (Reuters ) -
King Willem-Alexander, second left, arrives to officially unveil a new monument in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic Jewish Quarter on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, honoring the 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

A monument listing 102,163 Dutch victims of the Holocaust was unveiled by King Willem-Alexander in Amsterdam on Sunday, the first national memorial to be built in the Netherlands.

The monument, designed by Daniel Libeskind, 75, who lost relatives in the Holocaust, lies in the centre of the Dutch capital and is a labyrinth of brick walls that, when seen from above, forms Hebrew letters reading “in remembrance.”

Each stone carries the name of a Jew, Roma or Sinti who was deported from the Netherlands and who died in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. It is the first memorial to commemorate all the victims from across the Netherlands in one place.

Most of the Jewish population in the Netherlands was deported during the German occupation.

“It’s a black page in the history of our country,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. “It forces us to question whether more should have been done to prevent it and to realise that even these days antisemitism is never far away.”