The renovation of the war memorial on the Stadhuisplein in Eindhoven has begun. The 22 people with a ‘wrong past’ who are on the war memorial on Eindhoven’s Stadhuisplein will be removed. In addition, 155 names of people who actually belonged on the monument will be added. All to be ready for the commemoration on September 18.
A crazy sight on the town hall square. The monument is fenced off and there are materials to renovate the monument. Some stones have already been polished so that the new stones can be placed on top. Time is running out, because in 11 days it will already be September 18, the day on which the liberation will be celebrated in Eindhoven.
A renovation is necessary, because the wrong names came to light in April and that led to angry and sad reactions. “It is indeed painful and at the same time you want to detract from the monument as little as possible. It is an emotional intervention that you are going to do. Of these 22 names it is really certain that they have an SS past or have a connection with it.” Mayor Jeroen Dijsselbloem explained in August.
This concerns the names of six SS men, three NSB men and thirteen men who were in German service during the Second World War. “At the time, we were not present when the list of names were drawn up, but on closer inspection you could not know that there may have been incorrect names. Over the years, more and more information is being made public or archives are being opened. I know there just wasn’t as much information back then as there is now,” says Peter Kemp, chairman of the 18 September foundation.
The monument is therefore undergoing major renovations. “We put new plates on the natural stones in alphabetical order. The names that do not belong on it have been removed. This is how the monument is preserved. The 155 names that are added are placed on other plates. We clearly state that they were added later. So you don’t see the newly added names among the other names,” says Kemp.
In addition to the plates and new names, according to mayor Dijsselbloem, other things will also be changed. For example, the first stone that reads: ‘All residents of the municipality of Eindhoven who died in the Second World War’ will be adjusted. “The words ‘all’, ‘inhabitants’ and ‘municipality’ are being removed. This is to prevent ambiguities. These are people who had a link with Eindhoven at the time.”
The 155 Eindhoven residents who should be given a place on the monument, who are not on it, will therefore be given a place. These are about killed Sinti and Jews who were arrested in the city. It doesn’t stop there. “Every five years we will investigate whether names should indeed be added or removed from the monument. There is more and more new information from archives that are opening,” Kemp explains.
Dijsselbloem and Kemp emphasize that the names that are added afterwards, it always will be stated that they were added later. This way the monument remains correct.
Every year on September 18, the Liberation Day for Eindhoven, wreaths are laid here during the traditional torch parade.
For Eindhoven News: Lila Mehrez