Studio Libeskind and the Dutch Auschwitz Committee have revealed plans for the Holocaust Monument of Names, to be located in the heart of Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural District. Incorporating the letters of the Hebrew word לזכר (meaning “In Memory of”), the memorial will be the first to memorialize the names of all 102,000 Dutch victims of the Holocaust.
“The Dutch lost the largest percentage of their Jewish population in the Holocaust. The Holocaust Monument of Names, once realized, will be the first Holocaust memorial to commemorate all of the names of the Dutch victims and the first of its kind in Amsterdam,” said architect Daniel Libeskind.
“My personal connection as a child of Holocaust survivors has made it increasingly important to be a part of this significant project. I hope it will become a place for contemplation, reflection, and hope for the people of The Netherlands and beyond.”
The new memorial will be located along the Weesperstraat, adjacent to the Hermitage Museum and within close proximity to important Jewish cultural institutions including the Jewish Historical Museum and the Portuguese Synagogue.
Encompassing an 1,550 square meter (16,680 square foot) area, the monument will be composed of four hovering mirror-finished volumes, supported from below by two meter high brick walls carrying the message of Remembrance. The walls will be constructed of 102,000 bricks, each inscribed with the name of a victim, and an additional 1,000 blank bricks that memorialize the unknown victims.
The contrast between the materiality of the brick (a vernacular material of Amsterdam and the Netherlands) and the reflective, geometric forms references the connection between the city’s past and present. Between the two materials, a narrow void will create the illusion that the steel letters are hovering, representing the interruption of history and culture of the Dutch people.
Throughout the site, simple concrete blocks will provide resting places for contemplation and reflection. On the ground, light-finished concrete will indicate the path through the structure, while around the memorial, geometrical construction lines forming of the star of David will be inscribed into a stabilized crushed stone surface. After sunset, the monument will be lit to ensure for reading of the names in darkness, as well as give the structure a visible presence at all hours.
“For the bereaved, it is of immense value to have a place where they can remember their relatives. To ensure that the names of Holocaust victims do not vanish from memory. Moreover, the memorial acts as a link between past, present, and especially future. Remembering is not just for those who can recall the war. It is also for those who did not live through it. For the children of those who experienced it, for their grandchildren, and for all the generations that follow. The memorial raises historical awareness of where wars can lead, and encourages us to reflect on and learn from the Second World War”, says Jaques Grishaver, chairman of the Dutch Auschwitz Committee.
The Dutch Auschwitz Committee is currently underway with a fundraising campaign for the memorial, and hope to break ground on the project in early 2018.
You can learn more about the memorial, here.
News via Studio Libeskind.