AMSTERDAM (JTA) – Germany has pledged nearly $4.5 million toward renovating the Dutch national Holocaust museum.
Emile Schrijver, director of Amsterdam’s Jewish Cultural Quarter, an organization comprising five museums and institutions in the Dutch capital, announced the funding Monday.
“We expected a donation of half a million or a million euros,” Schrijver told Het Parool.
The National Holocaust Museum of the Netherlands opened in 2017 in a former religious seminary that was used to smuggle hundreds of Jewish children to safety from an adjacent building in which they were held. Their parents were interned across the street at the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a theater that the Nazis converted into a detention facility.
In February, the museum will close down for two years for renovations meant to turn the theater and seminary into a single museum with a larger capacity and state-of-the-art displays. The renovations will cost about $30 million. The Dutch government has allocated at least $6 million toward the project.
Nazi Germany and its Dutch collaborators murdered about 75 percent of the Netherlands’ prewar Jewish population of approximately 140,000 Jews. It was the highest death rate in Nazi-occupied Western Europe. Dutch Jewry’s numbers have remained at around 40,000 people since the Holocaust.