Robert Hampton

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6th April 2014

In Memoriam-sterdam
Posted by at 8.19pm | No responses | Out and About

This blog post is all about memorials. I don’t want it to sound like Ian and I deliberately went around looking for memorials to the dead, like some sort of macabre walking tour. But while exploring the city we did see a few of the more well-known monuments, and here are some of them.

The Homomonument was the first monument in the world to the gay people and persecuted under the Nazis. It takes the form of three granite triangles. The first triangle represents the past, and comes in the form of steps leading to the canal, symbolising the many gay people who were shipped off to concentration camps.

Homomonument - Past

The second triangle, symbolising the present, is level with the ground and points towards the Anne Frank House. It is inscribed with a line from a poem by the Jewish gay poet Jacob Israël de Haan, Naar vriendschap zulk een mateloos verlangen (“Such an endless desire for friendship”). The third triangle, representing “future”, was fenced off when we were there, presumably because it was undergoing maintenance.

Homomonument - Present Homomonument - Future

In a corner of the Museumplein, near the Van Gogh Museum, is the Ravensbrück Memorial. This striking stainless steel memorial is dedicated to the thousands of women who were deported to Ravensbrück concentration camp during World War II. The inscription, voor har die tot het uiterste neen bleven zeggen tegen het fascisme, roughly translates as “for her who fought her utmost against fascism.”

Ravensbrück Memorial Ravensbrück Memorial

In contrast to the previous memorials, the Monument to Jewish Resistance is elegant in its simplicity. A black monument commemorates the Jewish men, women and children who were taken to death camps and killed by the Nazis.

Monument to Jewish Resistance

World War II continues to resonate around the world, and especially in the formerly-occupied parts of Europe. Amsterdam’s memorials, although dedicated to different groups of people, all have the same central theme: “Never again”.

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