Amsterdam homeowners asked to commemorate former Jewish owners
In a new effort to remember the everyday lives of Jews killed in the Holocaust, in the spirit the highly successful German Stolpersteine project ("Stones of the Vanished" or "Stumbling Stones") of which I have previously written, a new effort to mark the houses of former Jewish residents of Holland has been announced. This project is in its infancy and it remains to see what interest and action it will inspire.
In addition to the internationally known Anne Frank House, hone of the most visited tourist sites in Amsterdam; and the Jewish Historical Museum, one of the best Jewish historical and cultural venues in Europe; Amsterdam also already has numerous monuments and plaques marking Jewish heritage and Holocaust sites and and commemorating Holocaust victims. The best on-line guide to the Jewish history of Amsterdam on the museum's website.
The following article is from Associated Press was published in Haaretz:
More than 70 percent of Holland's wartime Jewish population were killed by the Nazis; The dutch will mark the end of the war on May 4 with solemn ceremonies of remembrance.
By The Associated Press
A commemoration committee is asking thousands of Amsterdam homeowners to mark their houses if a former Jewish resident was arrested or deported to Nazi death camps during World War II.
The May 4-5 Committee, named for the date of the Netherlands' liberation from German occupation in 1945, made posters available Friday for display in windows of the former Jewish homes.
The poster reads: "1 of the 21,662 houses where Jews lived who were murdered in World War II."
Residents can look on the committee's website to see if their house had been occupied by a Jewish family during the war and the names of the people who had lived there.
More than 70 percent of Holland's wartime Jewish population were killed by the Nazis. The Dutch mark the end of the war on May 4 with solemn ceremonies of remembrance, followed the next day by parties and music to mark Liberation Day.
The poster was the initiative of Frits Rijksbaron, a marketing executive who discovered the title deed to his new home showed that it had once belonged to a Jewish family.
He told Dutch broadcaster NOS that he hoped to remind Amsterdam's citizens of the horrors of the Nazis' sweep of their city, during which some 61,700 Jews were arrested and killed.
He wanted "to show how big a trauma it was for the Jews and for Amsterdam, and how Jewish Amsterdam was."