Why do we attach so much value to sites of Holocaust memory, if all we ever encounter are fragments of a past that can never be fully comprehended? David Duindam examines how the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a former theater in Amsterdam used for the registration and deportation of nearly 50,000 Jews, fell into disrepair after World War II before it became the first Holocaust memorial museum of the Netherlands. Fragments of the Holocaust: The Amsterdam Hollandsche Schouwburg as a Site of Memory combines a detailed historical study of the postwar period of this site with a critical analysis of its contemporary presentation by placing it within international debates concerning memory, emotionally fraught heritage and museum studies. A case is made for the continued importance of theHollandsche Schouwburg and other comparable sites, arguing that these will remain important in the future as indexical fragments where new generations can engage with the memory of the Holocaust on a personal and affective level.
The Hollandsche Schouwburg is a former theatre in Amsterdam where, during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands, tens of thousands of Jews were assembled before being deported to transit and concentration camps. Before the war, the theatre had been an example of Jewish integration in the Netherlands, and after the war it became a memorial for the Jewish victims of Nazi persecution. This book is the first international publication to address all the historical aspects of the site, putting it in a broader European and historical context.