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Auschwitz Monument – The Broken Mirror Exhibit

Auschwitz Monument Amsterdam

The Auschwitz Monument, or Auschwitzmonument as said in Dutch, is a tribute to all of those that were killed at Auschwitz. This monument has a rich history in itself and lot of intricate details as to why it has changed so greatly throughout the years.

The History Before the Memorial

Before the memorial was built, there was an international memorial created by the Polish that was to be the only lasting part of the survivors. Each country that attended the memorial was given an urn that was filled with what was said to be the ashes of victims. This earn was given to the Dutch as well and would spark the birth of the Auschwitz Monument.

This urn was placed at Ooster Cemetery and had the words, “Never Again Auschwitz” inscribed on the corresponding tombstone. Eventually, visitors would come to the memorial to commemorate those that has perished. Soon, by the mid-70s, the small urn and tombstone were simply too small for all of the worldwide visitors.

The Memorial is Unveiled

Jan Wolkers debuted his masterpiece at the annual ceremony in 1977. Being a sculptor and poet, Jan debuted what is known as “Broken Mirrors.” The monument features six broken mirrors with the words, “Never Again Auschwitz” inscribed.

The mirrors are supposed to reflect that air and symbolize that the sky, or would around us, will never be the same again. In 1993, the monument was moved to Wertheim Park. However, this has proven to be rather unfortunate.

Vandalism

The moment was vandalized only days after its big relocation. Afterwards, there was more damage in 1997, 1999 and 2004. The monument has been repaired many times and is still a focal point in the area.

The memorial is one that attracts thousands of visitors every year. However, it is also very well hidden from the public eye. Many people that live in the area say that unless you are specifically looking for the monument, you will not be able to easily locate it. This puts a little damper on the situation, but it may be better considering the damage that has been done to it.

The meaning of the memorial is subtle, yet clear. The poet that created the memorial wanted everyone to know that what has already occurred, can occur again. This is a tribute to all those that died and a warning that we have to be diligent when it comes to tyrants.


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