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Studio Roosegaarde www.studioroosegaarde.net

Holocaust monument Levenslicht

By 27-01-2020

The temporary Holocaust monument Levenslicht was presented in Rotterdam on, January 16, 2020. The purpose of the light monument is to raise awareness that Jews, Roma and Sinti lived throughout the Netherlands and that the people who were persecuted, deported and murdered during the Second World War were locals or neighbors. The monument, consisting of 104,000 luminescent memorial stones to represent the 104,000 victims, was designed by Studio Roosegaarde, commissioned by the National Committee 4 and 5 May.

On January 27, 2020, it is seventy-five years ago that Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp, the international symbol of the Holocaust, was liberated. This temporary light monument is dedicated to the Dutch Holocaust victims in the municipality they were deported from.

In Rotterdam the monument could be seen once in its total size, with 104,000 luminescent memorial stones lit up on the banks of the Maas where the victims of Rotterdam were collected and deported at the time. The monument Levenslicht was presented by artist Daan Roosegaarde, in the presence of secretary of Loods 24 and Jewish children’s monument Frank van Gelderen, State Secretary of Health, Welfare and Sport Paul Blokhuis, mayor of Rotterdam Ahmed Aboutaleb and chairman of the National Committee 4 and 5 May Gerdi Verbeet.

The monument can be visited from January 22 to February 2 in 170 Dutch municipalities with a Holocaust past. Never before has the Holocaust been commemorated in so many places at the same time.

Light monument
Stones are important in both the Jewish memorial tradition and in Roma and Sinti culture. Daan Roosegaarde and his team have used this tradition as inspiration. The luminescent memorial stones are absorbed with fluorescent pigments and light up under the influence of invisible ultraviolet light. Every few seconds you see the stones radiate a blue color which extinguishes again: like a breath in light.

Photos: Ruben Hamelink, Marco De Swart