Dutch Government to grant 2.5 million Euros for the restoration of Jewish cemeteries

The Dutch government has granted a sum of 2.5 million euro’s to the NIK – Organization of Jewish Communities in the Netherlands and the country’s EJC affiliate for the restoration and preservation of Jewish cemeteries.

There are over 240 Jewish cemeteries spread out over the country. The 2,5 million budget will most probably grow with funds from local municipalities.

NIK’s director-General, Ruben Vis, who secured the budget from the government points out that such a sum is the largest ever received in a onetime decision for the upkeep of Jewish cemeteries.

Mr. Vis underlined that “The decision by the minister of Culture to allocate the budget is based on several considerations including on a paragraph in the Terezin Declaration signed in 2009 by 46 states including The Netherlands, to which we held the minister accountable to as well as the fact that these cemeteries are rare remnants of Jewish life in several regions in the Netherlands.”

Terezin Declaration: Jewish Cemeteries and Burial Sites

Recognizing that the mass destruction perpetrated during the Holocaust (Shoah) put an end to centuries of Jewish life and included the extermination of thousands of Jewish communities in much of Europe, leaving the graves and cemeteries of generations of Jewish families and communities unattended, and

Aware that the genocide of the Jewish people left the human remains of hundreds of thousands of murdered Jewish victims in unmarked mass graves scattered throughout Central and Eastern Europe,

we urge governmental authorities and municipalities as well as civil society and competent institutions to ensure that these mass graves are identified and protected and that the Jewish cemeteries are demarcated, preserved and kept free from desecration, and where appropriate under national legislation could consider declaring these as national monuments.

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