Tag Archives: Victims of Nazi persecution

Holocaust memorial cobblestones laid around Europe – and beyond

In the 1990s, Gunter Demnig decided victims of the Holocaust should return to their homes, at least figuratively.

Today, more than 70,000 so-called Stolpersteine have been laid around Europe – and beyond.

As a 71-year-old man, spending more than 200 days a year travelling around Europe and beyond for his project, meeting young people, politicians and relatives of those he strives to commemorate, Demnig .

According to some it would not be a respectful manner to commemorate the victims, seeing as they are literally being walked upon, or even kicked. For that reason the southern German city of Munich decided against having the Stolpersteine. Instead, after much arguing, Munich chose to install plaques and steles across the city instead.

Demnig says he does not agree with the logic that his project means the victims are kicked over and over again.

“The Nazis were never content with kicking, they had a whole extermination and murder plan.”

And even if people did want to kick the cobblestones, they have been designed so that this action makes them “ever more shiny.”

“You can walk over them, to polish the stones even more, to preserve the commemoration, and honour them,”

Demnig says.

The artist says he could “never” imagine stopping his Stolpersteine project. Despite being officially retired, he says he will continue.

“We need them now more than ever,”

he reasons, thinking of the rise of far-right rhetoric and populism across the world.

“Especially when some people from the AfD [far-right Alternative for Germany party] get up and say, ‘We don’t need to remember the Nazi period, that was birdshit,’ then we have to say: Now more than ever.”

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Remembrance and freedom in the Netherlands – Dodenherdenking and Bevrijdingsdag

Remembrance Day 4 + 5 May =  low-key affair, focussing on memorial services + parades at war memorials + military graveyards.

Liberation Day = Bevrijdingsdag = celebration of freedom => free festivals throughout the country

lighting of bevrijdingsvuur (Freedom Fire) = transition to a day of celebration commemorating liberation + celebrating freedom.

victims of Nazi persecution: Jews, Sinti, Roma + others

victims of Japanese camps in Indonesia

capitulation > City of Liberation > Wageningen Hotel de Wereld

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Voorgaande artikelen / Previous articles:

Religieuze feesten in mei 2016

Dodenherdenking. (Opinie)

Geef Vrijheid Door

Bevrijdingsdag Wine, Art & Jazz festival

May, for many a month for mothers and many celebrations

Integrated Expat - a British expat's views on Nijmegen, Arnhem & the Dutch

On 4 and 5 May every year, the Netherlands first remembers the sacrifices made by those who lost their lives, then celebrates the freedom those sacrifices made possible. Dodenherdenking (Remembrance Day) is a low-key affair, focussing on memorial services and parades at war memorials and military graveyards. Bevrijdingsdag (Liberation Day) is a celebration of freedom, with free festivals throughout the country. After a day of remembrance of those who gave their lives, the lighting of the bevrijdingsvuur (Freedom Fire) symbolises the transition to a day of celebration commemorating the liberation and celebrating freedom.

There are always many events surrounding both Remembrance Day and Liberation Day, particularly in the east of the Netherlands, so I will give some background information and pick out a few interesting things I discovered about this year’s celebrations in Gelderland. This year is the 70th anniversary of the official end of WWII, so many places have…

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