A talk which should have taken place at Nazi transit camp Westerbork on Sunday has been cancelled because of threats made against one of the speakers.
Activist Wahhab Hassoo, who came to the Netherlands as a refugee at the age of 17, said on social media that he and his family had been threatened and that “the safety risks for the audience” were equally important in taking the decision to cancel the event.
Hassoo was due to talk about the genocide against the Yazidis, an ethnic minority in Kurdistan targeted by IS, together with Emmy Drop-Menko, whose family was killed by the Nazis during World War II.
Camp Westerbork was originally built to house Jewish refugees and was later used as an assembly point for Jews who were being sent to the death camps.
“Emmy and I hope that we can share our stories together in the future,” Hassoo said. “I never, ever thought I would experience this in the Netherlands. It is a painful reality.”
Meanwhile the Netherlands’ only orthodox Jewish school has closed its doors again because of the security risks.
The Cheider school in Amsterdam will instead provide online lessons to pupils until security has been stepped up for a second time. The school covers both the primary and secondary curriculum.
Cheider and the capital’s two other Jewish schools closed for a day last week because of safety concerns, but reopened after the city council stepped up surveillance.
Cheider director Herman Loonstein told news website Nu.nl that security had since been stepped down again “while it has not become any safer in the Netherlands and the rest of the world”.
The other two schools remain open.