a temporary monument for infinite loss

Names and Numbers (2012-2016)

On May 4th Names and Numbers commemorates the Jews who were deported from Oosterparkbuurt. Kastanjeplein is commemoration site which is specially decorated so that everyone can symbolically bring a Jewish victim back home step for step. They belong to us and to our painful history!

Video: Lucas van Royen

See also: Namen en Nummers, zangperformance 2016 van Jeanette Groenenwoud (10 min)  en  Namen en Nummers van Ruby Greeve (3 minuten)

In Names and Numbers the imagination and the ritual play an important role. During the day, participants start at the Time Office where they consciously make the decision to step into ritual time. They choose a name from the archive and make a personal nameplate which they lay at the correct address and location on a large map of the neighborhood. This ‘streetmonument’ has been growing every year with much love and many tears. It is a temporary monument to an infinite loss.

In the evenings, it the center of the memorial ceremony where the songs of five choirs come to an abrupt and deafening silence at exactly 8:00 PM.

In 2016,after the two-minutes of silence, district councilwoman Daphne Meijer related her experience of the ritual as she went through it during the day. In 2020 we hope to have symbolically brought all the victims of that part of the Oosterpark neighborhood home.

Advisory committee from THE ART OF IMPACT wrote about Names and Numbers:

‘Rituals can help provide a place for the pain of loss and death. This project aims to bring the number of victims of the Holocaust to the core of what it is: the sum of unique people with their own stories. This attempt to ‘re-humanize’ numbers is needed in our time of “numbers of refugees”. An exciting project, carried out professionally, but deeply embedded in the environment where it should be carried out.

Participants: ‘I recently completed an intense mental process. On April 4 this year I said to myself for the first time, ‘I exist. It is wonderful that I exist.’ Thus, I came to grips with a deep lifelong conviction that “I should never have been born.” I now choose life. This ritual was cleansing for me. Thank you very much.

“The commemoration on Kastanjeplein made a big impression on me and my family. I had long not experienced something  so inspiring. My grandfather, a Jewish banker and refugee from Berlin, livedin the Michelangelostraat during the Second World War with his wife and three daughters. My mother, the middle of the three, had unfortunately already passed away three years ago. But she was with me during this beautiful and solemn event. The gathering of people on Kastanjeplein was peaceful and hopeful. It has given me much courage in this complex time … ‘

More information:

2012 – 2016. Financing Amsterdams Fonds voor de Kunst, The Art of Impact, VSBfonds, Fonds voor Oost, crowdfunding Voor je Buurt (80 donateurs), gemeente Amsterdam, Amsterdams 4 en 5 mei Comité. Concept and artistic director Ida van der Lee. Song performance directed by Nicoline Snaas met the choirs: Angels (director: Tatiana Lina), Din Jin (director: Marjan Linnenbank), Op Reis (director: Jetta Starreveld), Vocal Group Bant( director: Ronald Becker),  Tell Mama (director: Nicoline Snaas), Women’s Company (director: Marjan Politiek), Hebrew Groove (director: Noam Vazana), Gaia and Friends en Ellacapella (director: Astrid Louwers), dance: Mati Elias, violin Anti von Klewitz en Sander Hoving, string bass Sven Schuster. Linnaeuskoor. Artists Thérèse van de Berg, Liesje van den Berk, Carla Budding, Klaartje Dullemond, Esther Eij, Saar Frieling, Simone de Groot, Isa ten Haeff,  Carla Hoekenga, Cathelijn van Goor, Pavel van Houten, Arletta Kaper, Wendela Kloosterman, Itie Langeland, Saskia Laurant, Mechtild Prins, Joanne Swaan, Petra Veenstra. Moving Arts Projects met Diane Elshout, Janine Toussaint, Noud Verhave, Mattie van de Worm. Volunteers: Mahwash Aziz, Esther van Bavel, Lies Bierenbroodspot, Saskia Boot, Francis Borst, Arja Broere, Jose Dekker, Claudia van Dijk, Wout van Dishoeck, Caecilia van der Drift, Nini van Driel, Peter Düker, Hans Elsinga, Farhad Fahali, Meike Genee, Mirjam Gerritsen, Timo Gilhuis, Hella de Groot, Jo Haen, Chelly Hartog, Emily Ijzerman, Marian Iping, Ellen Kaptijn, Marella Karpe, Marijke Kienstra, Anja Koning, Margreet Kooistra, Heather Kurzbauer, Yael Kurzbauer, Tonny van der Lee, Bernadette van der Louw, Hanneke van der Louw, Dido Mirck, Gerdi Nauta, Ko Oelslager, Carolien van Oenen, Elly Overman, Bert Runhaar,  Sivan Schuurmans, Liesbeth Stoute, Hatice Tumer, Reiny van Twillert, Bill Wei, Kirsten de Wit. Others: Kees Lamper (website), Max Linsen and Marja Sonneveld (photography), Mayra Paula (intern), Marlene Rooseman (p.r. and text), Lucas van Royen (film), Arnold Weel (graphic design), Ko Schuurman (production), Robin Verkeek (technical). In cooperation with: ABG Parochie, Amsterdams 4 and 5 May Committee, Cultuur Ondernemen, Geheugen van Oost, city district Amsterdam Stadsdeel Oost, Grafisch Werkcentrum Amsterdam, Joods Historisch Museum, Live Oost Festival – de Rode Loper, De Rode Loper op School, Stichting Allerzielen Alom, vereniging Assadaaka, stichting Stadshout, woonzorgcentrum Kastanjehof, Basisscholen: Barbaraschool, De Kaap, De Kleine Kapitein. St Lidwinaschool