Queen Dedicates Memorial to Rotterdam Jews Deported by Nazis

A memorial sculpture for the 10,000 Rotterdam Jews deported to Nazi death camps during World War II was unveiled by Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands today in the garden of the Rotterdam city hall. The artist is Louky Metz, a woman of Jewish origin, who was commissioned to do the sculpture 15 years ago by a group of non-Jewish citizens of Rotterdam.

The prolonged delay between completion of the work and its dedication arose because originally it was to have been placed on the outer wall of the Rotterdam synagogue. It was, in fact, unveiled there but Orthodox members of the Jewish community objected because the sculpture depicted human bodies — the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob — and the statue was removed.

Metz instituted legal proceedings which, after many years, ended in an agreement to locate the sculpture at a “neutral” site. Representatives of the Orthodox as well as the Liberal Jewish community attended the unveiling.

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