Dutch Give Out Nazi Barbed Wire as Museum 'Souvenirs'

Holocaust Center Gives Out Concentration Camp Mementoes

getty images

By JTA

Published November 28, 2012.
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A Dutch Holocaust museum plans to hand out pieces of barbed wire from a Nazi concentration camp to visitors, to be kept as souvenirs.

RTV Utrecht, a local television channel, reported that the management of the Camp Amersfoort National Monument decided to give away the wire after it had been criticized for putting the wire up for sale earlier this month.

The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, or CIDI, a watchdog on anti-Semitism, asked the museum stop selling the wire. CIDI Deputy Director Esther Voet said that some descendants of resistance fighters found the sale inappropriate. She added the pieces of wire could reach collectors of Nazi memorabilia.

The management of the museum, situated on what used to be a Nazi concentration camp in the heart of the Netherlands, placed 50 pieces of wire in the museum’s gift shop and charged $12 for each piece.

The wire once surrounded the camp when the Nazis placed Dutch resistance fighters there. Also detained at the camp was a Jewish contingent of forced labor prisoners. Most of them did not survive the Holocaust.

“Our archaeologist proposed we throw away all the wire that we found around the museum,” said Harry Ruijs, the museum’s director, in an interview with RTV Utrecht. “We said we would find a way to use it.”

The museum intended to use revenue from sales to fund a new exhibition of archeological findings from Amersfoort Camp.


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