102.000 Stones

More than one hundred thousand people were deported from the Westerbork transit camp. 102.000 of them did not return. Thanks to the initiative of a number of former prisoners,102.000 stones were placed on the original parade ground. The idea is to make it clear how many people were murdered. But besides this massive number of people, the stones are placed in such a way to emphasise individual people: 102.000 times a mother, a father, a son, a daughter, a brother, a sister ....
The stones are arranged uniformly within a map of the Netherlands. Before the war most Dutch municipalities had a Jewish population, making the persecution of the Jews the concern of the whole of Dutch society. At the head of the stones there is a Star of David.
On 19th May, 1944, a group of 245 Sinti and Roma people were deported from Westerbork and murdered in Auschwitz. To commemorate this, 213 stones are have a flame on top. One hundred stones have no symbol. They represent the resistance fighters who were imprisoned in Westerbork before being deported and murdered.
For survivors and relatives there are no remains of their relatives, friends and acquaintances. For them there is no known final resting place or gravestone. As a result, many regard the 102.000 bricks as a direct 'reference' to their loved ones.