Holocaust museum opens in Antwerp, Belgium

by Aoife Dowling | 04 Dec 2012

A Holocaust and human rights museum has opened opposite the Dossin Barracks in Antwerp, Belgium - a site which served as a transit camp for Auschwitz.

Financed by the Government of Flanders, The Kazerne Dossin Museum in Mechelen spans four floors of gallery space and includes an auditorium and two educational areas.

The concept of the new gallery is to serve as a place of remembrance for the 25,484 Jews and 352 gypsies that were transported from here to Auschwitz-Birkenau between 1942 and 1944.

Designed by Flemish architect Bod Van Reeth of AWG Architects, the museum is pentagon shaped with large expanses of glass on one side and bricked-up windows on the other. The rooftop features a terrace that over looks the old barracks.

Exhibitions on display include the Holocaust, which begins by showcasing images, documents and testimonies illustrating the life of Jew's before the war.

The second floor displays the increasing discrimination towards the Jewish community, while the third floor looks at the fate of Jews and gypsies in the camps.

The museum also houses a Memorial Centre featuring three galleries, which serve as a place of commemoration for the victims' families.

Objects recalling the deportees last days are housed in the first gallery as well as artwork from Antwerp artist Philip Agulrrey Otegul.

Located in the cellar, the second gallery echo's the names of the 26,000 victims from 28 loudspeakers.

The third gallery houses war photos and offers visitors a quite space to contemplate and write down their feelings.

The new museum hosts the permanent historical exhibition that was previously housed at the Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance, which will now serve as a memorial and reflection centre.

A host of interactive workshops will be held in the education centre where children can reflect on questions raised by the visit.

A Holocaust and human rights museum has opened opposite the Dossin Barracks in Antwerp, Belgium - a site which served as a transit camp for Auschwitz. Financed by the Government of Flanders, The Kazerne Dossin Museum in Mechelen spans four floors of gallery space and includes an auditorium and two educational areas. The concept of the new gallery is to serve as a place of remembrance for the 25,484 Jews
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