A court has ruled that a monument commemorating around 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust can be placed in a park alongside Amsterdam’s Weesperstraat despite the objections of neighbours.
The Telegraaf reports that a court in Amsterdam found that the municipality had correctly weighed the importance of the ‘monument of names’ against the complaints of residents after a two-year battle.
The monument, to be built by the Dutch Auschwitz Comité, has been designed by internationally-renowned artist Daniel Libeskind and features four structures with the names of all Jewish, Sinti and Roma people deported from the Netherlands to Nazi death camps inscribed into their bricks. They spell out ‘in memorium’ in Hebrew.
Local residents had objected that the monument was too large for the site in the Weesperplantsoen gardens, that the large number of visitors would cause nuisance and that they were not sufficiently consulted. Their lawyer Aletta Blomberg reportedly told the Parool that the group felt it was ‘a private initiative for a national Holocaust monument in public space, financed with 90% public money, but where there was no public consultation’.
But chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Comité Jacques Grishaver, who has campaigned for a monument in Amsterdam to recognise the victims of the Holocaust for 13 years, told the Parool that for men like him – who had lost their families to Nazi death camps – there was not much time left.
Following the court decision, building in Amsterdam’s former Jewish district could begin in October and would be expected to last two years.
Last month, the state-owned NS railway said it will pay ‘tens of millions of euros’ in compensation to people it transported on the way to death camps for profit.
DutchNews.nl has contacted the Auschwitz Comité and Amsterdam municipal council for comment.
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