During the occupation of The Netherlands by Nazi-Germany sixteen Jewish families were deported from the Maastrichtsestraat. Thirty adults and twelve children did not return from the camps alive.
In 2006 several inhabitants of the Maastrichtsestraat came together to talk about this matter. For many of them learning about the deportation meant a change in the image of the street. The Maastrichtsestraat became a scenery of a violent event. In a way, the street itself became a monument, but so far there has been no sign to remember and honor the suffering of these families.
The idea was to create a ‘living monument’: a monument in constant development. Not a static image of bronze or marble, but a monument that would become part of everyday life. A monument that could only exist as a result of the engagement of the inhabitants themselves.
The choice was made for a proposition by artist Jonas Staal. The artist proposed, based on the wishes of the inhabitants themselves, to change the name ‘Maastrichtsestraat’ into the ‘Deportatie van zestien Joodse families straat' (Street of the deportation of sixteen Jewish families). Not by actually changing the streetsign itself, but by using this new name in correspondence, on letters, on forms and business cards. The proposition, addressed to you, as an inhabitant of the Maastrichtsestraat, is to participate in this process by using the name ‘Deportatie van zestien Joodse families straat’ for our street.
This means that the remembrance of the Jewish inhabitants of the past will not take place just once a year, but everyday. It means that this event will be fully part of the identity of the street: when business cards are handed out, when a familymember, a friend or passer-by asks for directions, when addresses are exchanged or forms are filled in, the deportation of the families will be brought to mind. Every time the event, the deportation, will be formulated back into the present through spoken or written words. As a reoccurring inscription.
It is also a monument without a fixed period of existence. It will only exist through the engagement of the inhabitants of the street. Only as long as you will formulate or write the words ‘Deportatie van zestien Joodse families straat’. It is a monument that will keep memories and interpretation of the event intact, a monument that all inhabitants carry with them individually. It is a monument that exists through the engagement of individuals, carried by a collective series of acts: bringing forth a re-inscription of the past into the present.
Hereby we would like to invite you to participate in this event. By sending your new address to family and friends. By sending an alteration of address by mail or e-mail. By printing new business cards and sending agencies your new address.
Please contact the committee of the Jewish Monument by phone or by e-mail, so we can further inform and help you to become part of the monument.