Dutch king unveils Holocaust name monument in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM (AP), King Willem-Alexander unveiled a new monument in Amsterdam's Jewish Quarter to honor more than 102,000 Dutch Holocaust victims on Sunday. The Dutch prime minister vowed that the memorial would remind people today to resist antisemitism.
The memorial was designed by Daniel Libeskind (Polish-Jewish architect), and is composed of four Hebrew letters that form a word which can be translated as "In Memory Of."

Each brick is inscribed with the name, birth date, and death date of each victim of the over 102,000 Jews, Roma, and Sinti murdered or taken to Nazi concentration camps during World War II.

Jacques Grishaver (chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee), officially opened the monument in the presence dignitaries as well as Holocaust survivors. Each person walked through the gates and picked up a piece of white stone to place in front a wall commemorating Jewish traditions when visiting graves.

Grishaver was helped by the king to take his stone and place it down. He spoke to three Holocaust survivors after the ceremony.

Mark Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister in Caretaker, stated that the monument should also force people to ask the question whether the Netherlands did enough during World War II to protect Jews and the cold reception given to the small group of those who fled hell afterward.

He described the period as "a black page in our country's history" and stated that the monument has a powerful message for today, especially since antisemitism seems never far away. It shouts "Be vigilant!"

This memorial is located near a former concert hall, where Jews were taken in by Amsterdam's Nazi occupiers before being sent to concentration camps.

The Amsterdam Municipality granted permission to construction to begin in 2017. However, work was delayed due to residents complaining that the monument was too large for the site. The bricks were purchased partly through crowd funding. 84,000 people paid 50 euro ($58) each to take one of the bricks.

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Official unveiling took place one year after Jacqueline van Maarsen (a friend Anne Frank) laid the first stone. It bears the name 20-year-old Dina Frankenhuis who was killed in Sobibor.

Rutte stated that the monument conveys a vital message.

This monument to your name says 102,163: We will not forget about you. We won't accept your name being erased. He said that evil doesn't have the final word. Each one of them was someone, and today they all get their names back.