Text of the speech:
Since some time, my family and I,
are following the news of mr. Demnigs Stolpersteine project. A little while ago
we could announce that the stones for our murdered relatives were being placed.
From many places the family reacted, from America,
Canada, Australia, South Africa and of course from the Netherlands. They were
grateful for this gesture. Grateful that mr. Demnig started this project and
that the municipality of Strijen keeps investing in preserving her Jewish
And sometimes it looks like it is about three
families, but in reality it was one family.
For example, for Ruben and Rebekka van Coevorden, a
stone will be placed later. They, by the way, had four more brothers and
sisters who were born in Strijen. But they lived somewhere else during the war.
They too were murdered. Their mother was a Kleinkramer, their grandmother a
Zwarenstein. And there were many relations like that between the family.
Remembering is good and beautiful. But sometimes
remembering is not enough. Because we live with the knowledge that soon, there
will be no one left who remembers... No one left who was there...No one left
that knows anyone who was there... No one left who remembers the pain, the
lacking of loved ones, the sadness.
Many of us have known their great grandparents, we
did too. But nit the great grandparents who were murdered in the war, the ones
we could have grown up with. They were taken from us, just because of their
faith, nothing more that that. And so sad to see that this excuse is still
being used today to tar people with a broad brush.
“You’re only really dead when you are forgotten.”
Fortunately, the forgetting will become a lot harder
now and hopefully will be long after we are no longer here.