The Gratitude Monument has been (re)placed this summer on Weesperplein, almost where it was unveiled in 1950. Due to the construction of the underground metro line, it was ‘temporarily’ placed on the Weesperplantsoen in the 1960s. When the Holocaust Names Memorial was built there, it was placed on the Weesperplein.
The Gratitude Monument, officially the Monument of Jewish Recognition, is a tribute to the residents of Amsterdam who helped the Jewish population during the Second World War. When the monument was unveiled by Mayor d’Ailly in 1950, he already had mixed feelings. He said: “The municipality accepts it with pride, but also with shame.” Not much was known about the death camps. But one thing had been clear for a long time: most Amsterdam-residents had hardly resisted the deportations, as a result of which almost all Jews disappeared from the city.
Paving and explanation
The platform and the temporary pavement have been renewed. The final paving will come with the redevelopment of the Weesperplein, part of the Knowledge Mile Park project, that will probably start in 2022. An explanation has been placed next to the monument. In the light of these times it is strange that the Jewish community thanked the Amsterdam-residents. Monuments are subject to the zeitgeist and the debate about our shared past.
Gratitude monument, Weesperplein.
More information on the municipality’s website.