“Our commitment must be to remember the victims who perished, respect the survivors still with us, and reaffirm humanity's common aspiration for mutual understanding and justice.”
-- Declaration of the Stockholm International Forum on the Holocaust
The Netherlands has a long tradition when it comes to commemorating the Second World War. Every year the fallen are remembered - soldiers, resistance fighters, civil victims. Our focus is on the victims in the Netherlands (Europe) and of the war in the former Dutch colony of the Netherlands East Indies. Since the 1970s the Holocaust has become increasingly prominent in this regard. More than 100,000 Dutch Jews (out of 140,000 in total) and Roma and Sinti were murdered during the war. This terrible tragedy continues to prompt many questions, such as: how could this happen in the Netherlands?
Monitoring is considered important. How much does the average Dutch person know and understand? What areas should be given special attention, and what are the appropriate target groups? In the past years teacher training, junior secondary education in the 14-15 year age group, and the international angle were policy priorities.
The Netherlands has a diverse landscape of remembrance, with different memorial dates throughout the year, connected to different victim groups and histories. January 27th is acknowledged as the day of remembrance of the liberation of Auschwitz.
Permanent reminders are present in the form of memorial centres at Amersfoort, Vught, and Westerbork and in more than over 3600 war monuments in the Netherlands.
The Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD) was founded in 1945. Following the Stockholm Declaration, the Centre for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (CHGS) was set up.NIOD' together. Their staff teach at the University of Amsterdam. International cooperation is a priority when it comes to research.
A good example of NIODs international work is the coordination of the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure (EHRI). EHRI's main objective is to support the European Holocaust research community by giving it integrated online access to dispersed Holocaust related sources all over Europe and Israel and by encouraging collaborative research in multi-national research teams. To this end, 20 organisations from 13 countries will work together in a four-year project funded by the EU. Apart from its research, archives and teaching tasks, the NIOD provides post-graduate courses and fulfils a specific public function in relation to the Holocaust and other genocides.www.niod.knaw.nl.