Plans for Amsterdam's First Holocaust Museum Unveiled

National Shoah Museum will be housed in two buildings that symbolize the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands.

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Jodenburt (1889), a painting of Amsterdam's Jewish quarter.Credit: Eduard Alexander Hilverdink

Plans were unveiled in Amsterdam for the city's first Holocaust museum, which will be opened in mid 2018, the European Jewish Press reported on Wednesday.

Titled the National Shoah Museum, the institution will focus on the Jewish history in the Netherlands from the period that preceded the Nazi occupation - when there were some 140,000 Dutch Jews living in the country, among them some 25,000 German-Jewish refugees who had fled Germany in the 1930s. In 1945, only about 35,000 of them were still alive.

The museum is an initiative of, among others, the Jewish Historical Museum. It will be housed in two historic buildings located on a central street in the heart of the Dutch capital, a short walk from several of Amsterdam's major cultural institutions.

Both buildings symbolize the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands, said the director of Amsterdam's Jewish Historical Museum, according to the EJP. One of the structures once housed the Dutch Theatre, from where tens of thousands of the city's Jewish residents were deported during the German occupation. The second was once home to a teacher's college that was once used to provide refuge to 600 Jewish children.

"From the theater, 46,000 Jews were deported. This place represents the misery. The building across the street, the former teacher training college, represents the rescue,’’ he explains.