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monumentoud

The monument


An original monument dating from 1970 was extended and the names of the Jewish fellow citizens who had not returned from the concentration camps were added to it. This renewed monument, situated in the Slotplantsoen, a small park in the centre of Meppel, was unveiled in September 1997.

It faces the area where the Jewish quarter with the synagogue used to be. The area where once the activities, the hustle and bustle of the Jewish butchers, drapers, tailors and market vendors were all around. Nowadays original street names like Jodensteeg (Jews'Lane) and Synagogue Street have returned, but it has not brought back the atmosphere of a Jewish quarter with its 'gein' and 'gochme', the humour and wittiness of those who once lived here.

If you wish to learn more about the Stichting Joods Monument ( Jewish monument foundation), please read what follows or consult our website.



The Foundation


Quite near the original Jewish quarter and the synagogue, which was pulled down in 1960 (see pictures below), stands in the Slotplantsoen,  the Jewish Monument . It was erected in memory of the Jewish population of Meppel transported to Camp Westerbork in the night from 2 to 3 October  1942. With a few exceptions all those people perished in the extermination camps.
In the Slotplantsoen there had already been a monument since 1970, erected on the initiative of the city historian Mr Wim Bakker, who was later to become a committee member of the foundation. The maker of this monument was Nico Onckenhout. The original plan was to add to the monument the names of the Jewish citizens who had not returned from the camps.
Next a new monument was designed and built by the sculptor Onno de Ruijter from Meppel (1937-2013). On the initiative of late Mr J.H.Boom, Mr T. Henzen and others the Stichting Joods Monument was founded. Much support was also given by the municipality , the business community and the population of Meppel. On September 30th 1997 the monument was unveiled by two Jewish survivors from Meppel, late Mrs A.Katz-Wolf and late Mr E.Frank. They were assisted in this by pupils of a primary school. Then the monument was dedicated by the Chief Rabbi of Amersfoort, Mr J.S.Jacobs by blowing the shofar or ram’s horn. Lest we forget!

Apart from the realization of the monument, the Jewish Monument Foundation Meppel has set itself other aims to achieve. Every year on May 4th, the national day of commemoration of the victims of World War II, it organises a commemorative concert , following on the so called ‘Stille Tocht’( Silent Tour) along the cemetery, the war monuments and other places of commemoration.  In October the J.H.Boom Lecture is held. Guest-speakers deal with various current issues in the area of discrimination, peace and security. Early in the morning of October 3rd a short memorial ceremony takes place, at about the time when in 1942 the majority of the Jewish population was transported from the station to Camp Westerbork. Furthermore the Foundation tries to preserve the few traces in the townscape which are still reminiscent of Jewish life in the city. For this purpose it organises  various activities in Meppel  and the surrounding region.

 

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