“Hollandsche Schouwburg, geen voorstelling van te maken” (in dutch the word ‘voorstelling’ stands for theater show as well representation). Until 1940, The Hollandsche Schouwburg was a popular theatre, putting on many well-known Dutch plays. Over the years the function of the Schouwburg changed drastically. Today the Hollandsche Schouwburg is a monument and war memorial.
During the Second World War, Jews were rounded up into the former theatre, before being deported to concentration camps. Thousands of people were held there, awaiting an unknown fate – some for several hours, others for weeks. In honor of their memory, a monument and memorial room have been installed in the theatre. Studio KNOL worked together with Driebit on a renewed design for the interactive (mobile) part of this monument.
The memorial room consists of an enormous wall of names that symbolizes the memories of over 104,000 Jews who were murdered by the Nazis. Next to this physical memorial, a digital online monument exists, housing a growing database of information about the life and death of each Jewish victim. More information is added every day. The wall of names is connected with this online archive by use of an ikPod; a simple device that reads the physical names and redirects to the online archive, using RFID technology.
This mediator device that connects the physical to the virtual at the Hollandsche Schouwburg has a renewed design made by studio KNOL. The design is based on a curling book page, referring to the possibility of reading more background information after the first visible layer (the name). The devices are handed out to visitors at the entrance desk. This device enables the visitors to read the wall of names and gain more background knowledge about the particular person. After clicking on a name, the device will retrieve all the available information about that person, making it possible to commemorate the individual behind the bare facts. Visitors can also add their memories of the victims on the spot, using the special website of the Digital Monument, so that other visitors will be able to read them.
The digital monument is an interactive website, open for everyone. With more than 250,000 pages of information about Jewish victims of the Shoah, the Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands is a treasured place of commemoration. On the website, anyone can look up or contribute facts, photographs, stories, and memories about the victims, building bridges between the postwar generations and their forebears.