Amsterdam to contribute £4.4m for Holocaust museum makeover
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Amsterdam to contribute £4.4m for Holocaust museum makeover

City authority takes 'decisive' step to ensure the organisation reaches its £22m target

The National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands in Amsterdam
The National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands in Amsterdam

The Amsterdam City Council has pledged nearly £4.4m ($5.6 million) for building up the Dutch national Holocaust museum.

The contribution, which the city announced Thursday, is a “decisive” step toward reaching the target sum of approximately £22m ($28 m) for the museum’s reopening in 2022, according to a statement by the Jewish Cultural Quarter, to which the museum belongs.

Emile Schrijver, the director of the Jewish Cultural Quarter — an umbrella group comprising five institutions situated in the Dutch capital’s historic Jewish neighbourhood — called the move “an expression of trust by the city especially at this time.” He also called the donation “generous.”

Many cultural institutions in Europe and beyond have seen their budgets cut and sources of income diminish because of the coronavirus crisis.

In January, Germany pledged nearly £3.5m ($4.5 m) toward renovating the Dutch national Holocaust museum.

The National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands opened in 2017 in a former religious seminary that was used to smuggle hundreds of Jewish children to safety from an adjacent building in which they were held. Their parents were interred across the street at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a theatre that the Nazis converted into a detention facility.

Nazi Germany and its Dutch collaborators murdered about 75 percent of the Netherlands’ prewar Jewish population of approximately 140,000 Jews. It was the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. Dutch Jewry’s numbers have remained at around 40,000 people since the Holocaust.

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