The monument will be called ‘Levenslicht’ or ‘Light of Life’
Translated by Thomas Ansell
From January 22, a new Holocaust memorial designed by Daan Roosegaarde will be available to see at the beautiful Synagogue Groningen on the Folkingestraat in the city centre. The monument is made up of a series of stones, which light up for just a few seconds, before fading out again- as though they were breathing. It’s part of a national project: with 150 Dutch municipalities taking part in also having a temporary memorial of lit stones. As reported by the Groninger Internet Courant.
On January 27 it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the work and death-camp Auschwitz by the Red Army, and there will be various actions of memorial and remembrance around the world.
Artist Daan Roosegaarde has chosen to utilise stones in his work, because it is a Jewish memorial right, and an important motif within Sinti and Roma cultures. A total of 104,000 stones have been produced, which symbolise the overwhelming meaning of the Holocaust. The stones have been shared amongst the exhibitors, all of which are municipalities where Jewish people, Roma people, or Sinti people lived. The municipality of Groningen saw more than 2,850 Jewish citizens rounded up, deported, and murdered during the Second World War.
The stones ‘breathe’ in light- symbolising the life that was suddenly removed from each community. Taking a reflective moment within the ‘Levenslicht’ memorial, or taking part in the accompanying education project ‘Wordt’ is a way of actively remembering those killed from each municipality.
The Folkingestraat Synagogue Foundation and the Gemeente Groningen have agreed to show the memorial at the synagogue. Because the work is best observed during darkness, there will be special and free-to-enter openings on the 22, 23, 29; and 30 January. The evening opening times will be between 19:30 and 21:30, and will be accompanied by readings, presentations, and musical performances.
Image: Daan Roosegaarde and former Dutch Speaker of the House Gerdi Verbeet. Via Studioroosegaarde.net