Jewish Remembrance/Emma

I found the Kuper reading to be one of the most fascinating texts we have covered in this class. The sentiments of natives in Rotterdam towards the killing of Jews in WWII, especially the over 12,000 from their own city, was horrifying to learn about, and the understated, underwhelming attempts to memorialize the deceased was even more shocking. Antisemitism has been a stain on humanity since the inception of Judaism, but neglecting the systematic killing of Jewish people in the Holocaust is perhaps the greatest offense one could commit. A part of the Kuper reading that stood out to me was the author’s efforts to speak with officials and understand the “quiet” nature of the Hanger 42 memorial. The Hanger 42 Committee member said of the wall plaque “This one is fixed so tightly that I think they’d have to take the whole wall with them if they wanted to remove it,” (Kuper). Why anyone would want to remove a memorial is difficult to understand, and makes one question how much in the past is truly behind us.

The nature of the stumbling stones seen on the STIWOT map further highlights the apparent neglect to properly memorialize the Jews from the Netherlands who were killed in the Holocaust. It begs questions about how ingrained antisemitism has become in Dutch society, why they can properly memorialize the non-Jews killed in the bombardment of May 1940 but refuse to pay the same respects to Jewish deaths?

One component of these resources that I respected was the idea of memorials promoting quiet reflection. It seems fitting to honor those killed by taking a few moments when passing a memorial to reflect, but if passersby don’t even know they are near a monument, this is unlikely to happen. Football style chants aren’t necessarily needed, but noticeable monuments must be installed.

P.S. I tried to google Hangar 24 to find a photo for this post, and the majority of results were for a craft brewery…

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