Almost every person who dies, wherever in the world, is given a funeral.
Loved ones come to pay their last respects and loving words are spoken.
People mourn and remember.
Then together we bury the person who has just left this world.
Later, surviving relatives can visit the grave, lay flowers and touch the stone bearing the name of the deceased.
In that way, the deceased lives on in the minds of those dear to them and we come to terms with the fact that one of us is no longer among the living. We can commemorate and remember.
But not for the more than 102,000 Dutch Jews and Sinti and Roma fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, grandmothers, grandfathers, nieces and nephews and friends.
They were not buried, no elegant words were spoken about them, no music was played, no stone bears their name and date of birth, or the date they were gassed, shot, buried alive in mass graves, beaten to death or sacrificed in medical experiments.
Today, over seventy years later, the limited number of survivors cannot visit any place to read the names of their loved ones destroyed by the German murder machine. Our country occupies a unique position in many respects, and this is one of them.
Many other countries have such a place of remembrance that is of great significance not only for surviving relatives but also for the young people of today and tomorrow. Young people from various backgrounds, who must realize what one person can do to another, and what the effects are of racism and intolerance.
The Dutch government has failed to provide such a place of commemoration with the names of every fellow human killed. What the government at the time did not fail to do was to collaborate in the deportation of Jews and Sinti and Roma. If ever the government could show it has a debt to repay, that time is now.
We are unsure whether the government will help those of us who have initiated this project with funding. That is why we ask you to adopt the name of one of the victims of those terrible war years. Adopting a name costs € 50. By adopting the name of a Dutch person killed in a horrific manner in one of the concentration camps, you will give that person at last the resting-place that is the right of every human being!
A survivor, Dries van de Beek (11 March 1939)