Dijsselbloem explains in speech about incorrect names war memorial

Dijsselbloem speech war monument
Photo credit: Rogier Overvliet/Studio040

Mayor Jeroen Dijsselbloem gave a speech during the commemoration on Stadhuisplein in Eindhoven about the war and how black and white it was at that time. And how conspiracy theories were already being spread and manipulation was taking place at the time.

The Mayor is mainly talking about the war memorial on Stadhuisplein, which was placed in 2013 and was discredited in April this year due to the incorrect names. “The decision to adapt the monument is not an easy one. A situation like this is never completely black or white”.

It is of course no coincidence that the war memorial on Stadhuisplein was adjusted just in time for the commemoration on 18 September. The 22 people with a ‘wrong past’ who are on the monument will be removed. In addition, 160 names of people who actually belonged on the monument are added. “This was a difficult decision. A situation is never completely right or wrong. Sometimes we find ourselves in a gray area”, Dijsselbloem said in his speech.


For example, there is the name of a German man who came to live in Eindhoven with his parents at a young age. At the age of eighteen he was drafted into the German army. As a German he had to serve in the army and he had no choice, even though he didn’t want that at all. A refusal to serve would otherwise cost him dearly”.


“His name therefore remains on the monument and that does not apply to an Eindhoven police officer who helped round up and deport Jews during the war. He was also convicted for this after the war. At the same time, the police officer helped people who were resisting. He told them when they would be arrested, so that they could escape in time. So the police officer did right and wrong things, and is not on the monument”, the Mayor says.

Names added

In addition to the 22 names that have been removed from the monument, more than 160 names have also been added. “These include names of Jews who were in Auschwitz. For example, there is a family whose children died in the concentration camp, but whose parents survived. They later had 11 more children”, Dijsselbloem continues.

“People have also been added who experienced the liberation. People who went home from a concentration camp. And ended up here in Eindhoven in one of the largest shelters in the Netherlands. 23 People still died in that shelter from hardship or illness. And of course resistance fighters who ultimately died in one of the concentration camps”.


The Mayor hopes that the relatives who were present at the commemoration will find comfort in the added names and that we will recognise the suffering they endured. Even though the list is not yet complete according to Dijsselbloem. “Archives are still being opened from which new names of war victims can be added. Every few years we will therefore review the list and adjust it where necessary”.

At the end of the speech, Dijsselbloem lets people know that judgment is easy to make and that we should think carefully about the names on the monument. “We will continue to commemorate the victims of the Second World War. You will receive that promise from me and if you want, I will also put it on paper”.

Source: Studio040

Translated by: Bob

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