Dutch Railway Museum Opposes a Monument to Utrecht Jewish Deportees

The Dutch Railway Museum in Utrecht
The Dutch Railway Museum in Utrecht

Times of Israel reports: A museum in Utrecht, The Dutch Railway Museum to be exact, is opposing a plan to erect a monument to pay homage to the Jews who were sent to their deaths by the very railway station that the museum is build on.

Paul Vlijmen, the museum’s direction, stated last week that he is planning to block the statue being put up near his museum. The statue is to serve as a constant memory of the 1,224 Jews who were deported to death camps from Utrecht during the war.

According to the local news site, DeStadUtrecht.nl, the museum’s director believes that the museum has devoted enough attention to the Jews plight with a plaque and an exhibition. The exhibition is entitled “Loaded Trains”. The Dutch Railway Museum was built on an old train station where the 1,224 Jewish victims were deported and ultimately sent to their deaths. Members of the Jewish community in Utrecht wishes to place a monument near the museum. Utrecht currently does not have a memorial statue to commemorate those who lost their lives during the war.

Late November, the foundation for the Jewish Monument applied for a permit to build the monument. The project will cost an estimated $237,000, according to the Dutch newspaper, Telegraaf.  Maarten van Ditmarsch is a spokesperson for the foundation and said the that the Railway Museum has stopped earlier attempts to honor the victims. “People said that the city already has a monument for those who fell during the war. I think, however, that this time we will succeed,” he was quoted as saying on DeStadUtrecht.nl.

The intended statue was created by Amiran Djanashvili. The piece will consist of two separate parts. One steel memorial wall engraved with the names of the Jewish victims and a large shofar.

Evette Champion

Evette Champion is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE