Beyond Anne Frank : The Dutch Tell Their Full Holocaust Story

The diary of the young Jewish girl, who came of age hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam, has long been the dominant narrative of the Netherlands’ experience during World War II. Hers is a story of inspiration and resistance that in many ways the Dutch have promoted and chosen to remember.

But the rest of the story of the Holocaust in the Netherlands has gone largely untold, and survivors and others fear that it is in danger of being forever forgotten.

So it was that after a 10-year struggle, the City Council in May approved a location for a memorial wall for the roughly 102,000 Dutch Jewish victims of the Nazis. The decision coincided with the opening of the National Holocaust Museum, a separate and sometimes competing effort to build a permanent home in Amsterdam for exhibitions about the Holocaust and other genocide.

Together, the new projects reflect a movement among a second and third generation of postwar Dutch Jewish leaders to balance what they feel is an incomplete, or even distorted, understanding of what happened during the five years of Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Nina Siegal | 2016
In: The New York Times, ISSN 0362-4331 | July
July 17, 2016