On 27 January 2020, it was 75 years since the Auschwitz concentration and extermination camp was liberated. To mark this day, a temporary light monument in Rotterdam and 170 Dutch municipalities was to commemorate the Dutch Holocaust victims. The LEVENSLICHT light monument aimed to raise awareness that Jews, Roma and Sinti lived everywhere in the Netherlands and that the people who were persecuted, deported and murdered during the Second World War were locals or neighbours. It consisted of 104,000 luminous memorial stones - for the 104,000 victims.
LEVENSLICHT was designed by Studio Roosegaarde and commissioned by the National Committee 4 and 5 May. In Rotterdam it could be seen in its full size, with 104,000 luminous memorial stones on the banks of the Maas - where the Rotterdam victims were collected and deported at the time. Afterwards, the memorial could be visited in 170 Dutch communities with a Holocaust past.
The fact that the light memorial is made of stones has a cultural background. Stones are important in the Jewish tradition of remembrance as well as in the culture of the Roma and Sinti. Daan Roosegaarde and his team have taken this tradition as inspiration. The luminescent memorial stones are impregnated with fluorescent pigments and glow under the influence of invisible ultraviolet light. Every few seconds, the stones are seen to light up in a blue colour and go out again.
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