The ceremony is to commemorate the liberation of the Auschwitz concentration camp
In the Camp Westerbork Remembrance Center in the province of Drenthe, eight hundred volunteers have been busy reading the names of 102,000 people continuously since last Wednesday as an act of remembrance for victims of the Holocaust.
The names are of all of the Dutch Jews, Sinti and Roma who were imprisoned in Westerbork during the Second World War and from there were deported to Germany and Nazi-occupied Poland to be killed there.
There is a live-stream of the readings available via RTV Drenthe.
The reading of the names lasts until Monday 27 January: on that day it is 75 years ago that the Auschwitz extermination camp was liberated. The names are listed in alphabetical order. A provisional timetable can be found on the website 102000namenlezen.nl.
Eight hundred readers
The reading of the names is done by eight hundred different readers. Mirjam Weitzner-Smuk, a survivor, will read the last name.
“It is the last time, we think, that survivors will be able to come to read. And 75 years of freedom is of course a very special anniversary. We will soon start with a survivor who will read the first names. The last names will also read by a survivor “, said Gerdien Verschoor director of Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork, on Wednesday.
By reading the names, the Remembrance Center wants to show that “102,000′ is not a number, but 102,000 times where a father, a mother, a grandmother; a brother, a niece, or a friend was lost”, states the website. “102,000 times that a unique person, with a name and face, was murdered.”
Camp Westerbork is now a national remembrance centre for all victims of the Holocaust.
Image via WikiUser Gouwenaar