The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Tuesday, October 25, 2016

New Holocaust museum opened at gruesome WW2 site
Israeli and Dutch flags flying in front of British, US and French ones in front of the Kazerne Dossin memorial museum and Holocaust documentation center in Mechelen, some 30 kms from Brussels. Belgium's newly-opened Holocaust and human rights museum stands symbolically on the site of a barracks commandeered by the Nazis as a wartime transit centre for Jews and Gypsies being sent to the death camps. AFP PHOTO / BELGA / DIRK WAEM.

By: Philippe Siuberski

BRUSSELS (AFP).- Belgium's newly-opened Holocaust and human rights museum stands symbolically on the site of a barracks commandeered by the Nazis as a wartime transit centre for Jews and Gypsies being sent to the death camps.

The new "Kazerne Dossin" in the Flemish town of Mechelen, comprising a museum, memorial and documentation centre, is located at the site of an 18th century barracks that officials dub "a silent witness to the greatest war crime, in the form of genocide, in Belgium."

The new World War II remembrance complex some 30 kilometres from Brussels was inaugurated by Belgian King Albert II and opened to the public last month.

Like the Drancy camp outside Paris where Jews were rounded up and sent to death camps, the Dossin barracks -- directly linked to the Belgian rail network -- was turned into a last-stop transit centre for the notorious Auschwitz-Birkenau camp run by the Nazis between 1942 and 1944.

More than 25,500 Jews and 350 Gypsies from both Belgium and northern France were sent there after their arrest, often with the help of local police.

There were more than 70,000 Jews in Belgium before the Second World War broke out, notably 18,000 in the nearby port city of Antwerp.

After two or three months at Dossin, deportees were herded into trains for the Third Reich's death camps. Only five percent of the Jews and Gypsies who left Mechelen in 28 convoys ever returned.

Last September, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo presented the country's apologies for crimes committed by people who had worked hand-in-hand with Nazis to deport Jews.

"This new museum takes a more profound look at the history of the persecution of the Jews in Flanders and Belgium, based on new historic sources of information and insights," said Kris Peeters, who heads the Dutch-speaking government of Flanders.

"It also provides a link between the concepts of holocaust and human rights."

In 1995, members of the Jewish community opened a small museum in a part of the barracks but much of the building had already been turned into flats and sold.

The new complex, built with the help of a 25-million-euro investment by the government of Flanders, adds a state-of-the-art cube-like museum designed by celebrated Flemish architect Bob Van Reeth.

The top fourth floor, destined to house temporary exhibitions, is open to the light of day but the other three storeys smack of a mausoleum.

Rectangular shapes in the white facade symbolise bricked-up windows while the heavy sliding steel door recalls those on the freight trains used to carry the victims to their death.

Van Reeth said the total volume was equivalent to that of the freight cars used in the 28 convoys to the death camp; the number of bricks used being the same as the number of people deported.

The three floors touch on three themes -- intolerance, fear and death.

The museum expects to see 100,000 visitors a year.

© 1994-2012 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

January 14, 2013

Berlin's Museum for Film and Television spotlights Martin Scorsese in exclusive show

From the Pre-Columbian world to Hollywood, treasures take the spotlight in Antiquities Saleroom's auction

A unique $2 Hall of Classics with inverted centre error stamp on cover achieves HK$4.8 million

Exhibition presents 70 works documenting Alex Katz's 60 year career as painter

Famed Tunisia mausoleum in Sidi Bou Said ravaged by fire thought to be from arson attack

First United States solo exhibition in ten years by Bernard Piffaretti opens at Cherry and Martin

First "Bone" of the Milky Way identified by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics

Wendell Castle presents an installation of stack-laminated pieces at Friedman Benda

Carpets and Couplets: An exhibition of new work by Dirk Stewen opens at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery

The American International Fine Art Fair returns to Palm Beach this February 2013

Interventions by Laurent Grasso, Johan Grimonprez and Terence Koh on view at Sean Kelly Gallery

Exhibition of new work by the Canadian artist Hugh Scott-Douglas opens at Blum & Poe

Exhibition of new paintings by Julian Lethbridge opens at Paula Cooper Gallery

Sissi Farassat's first solo exhibition in New York on view at Edwynn Houk Gallery

Green Art Gallery presents "King Give Us Soldiers", a solo show of works by Hungarian painter Zsolt Bodoni

New Holocaust museum opened at gruesome WW2 site

Exhibition of recent works on paper by Andrea Way opens at Pierogi

Fabio Viale's first solo exhibition in New York opens at Sperone Westwater

St Anne's Medal sells for $59,000 at Kaminski Auctions New Year's Sale

Fateful B-52 flight revealed deadly weakness

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- New light shines on Sandro Botticelli masterpieces at Florence's Uffizi Gallery

2.- Cincinnati Art Museum's Van Gogh exhibition brings guests Into the Undergrowth

3.- Degas retrospective debuts in the U.S. at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

4.- Special exhibition features large-scale photography by Richard Mosse & Edward Burtynsky

5.- Nobel panel gives up knockin' on Dylan's door

6.- An unprecedented, international-loan exhibition of works by Claude Monet is at the Kimbell Art Museum this fall

7.- Exhibition at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek explores Rousseau's landscapes

8.- Yoko Ono unveils her first permanent US art installation

9.- ArtReview's annual Power 100 names Hans Ulrich Obrist as the artworld's most powerful figure

10.- British artist David Hockney makes a splash at Frankfurt fair with 2,000-euro book

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful