The future of lieux de mémoire

The future of lieux de mémoire

Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork
Hooghalen (NL)
Hooghalen (NL)
Vom - Bis
01.10.2007 - 04.10.2007
Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork (NL)

The future of lieux de mémoire’
International conference Memorial Centre Camp Westerbork, October 2007

There are places all over the world that have been ‘damaged’ by profound human tragedy. The Nazi concentration camps are all too familiar examples. More recent examples are the ‘killing fields’ in Cambodia and Srebrenica in Bosnia.
Some historic sites come to us from the past almost unchanged. Other sites of persecution have been stripped of all traces of the past and are now found in completely changed environments. Sometimes the barren land has been given an artistic role or a reconstruction has been created.

What is the value of these historic sites? And how does the culture of commemoration develop around these historic sites? Does this happen in line with developments in society and the demands it makes on historic sites?
Where are the ethical boundaries for re-development of a location of such historic and social significance? And what requirements should we set to ensure that these sites continue to be meaningful for future generations? What criteria should we set for conservation and preservation? And should we allow considerations of manageability to play a role in this?

These are issues that will be discussed at the international conference ‘The future of lieux de mémoire’ to be held between 2-4 October 2007 in Westerbork.
Internationally renowned speakers will give their views on these subjects. The focal point of the conference will be the former World War Two concentration camps. A follow-up conference, which will focus on more recent ‘lieux de mémoire’, is scheduled to be held in Srebrenica/Potocari (Bosnia) in the spring of 2008.

The conference has been organised by Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork (Memorial Centre Camp Westerbork) in collaboration with Nationaal Monument Kamp Amersfoort (National Monument Camp Amersfoort), Nationaal Monument Kamp Vught (National Monument Camp Vught) and the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
The conference language is English

To register please fill in the form on the website Registration takes place in order of entry. Your registration becomes definite when you receive a confirmatory letter after paying the fee. Registration closing date: 25 September 2007
The fee for the conference amounts to 200 euro. Students are charged a special tariff of 100 euro. This amount includes all parts of the program and accommodation expences.


Provisional program

Conference The Future of lieux de mémoire
2 – 4 October 2007
Westerbork – Amersfoort – Vught

Monday October 1, 2007 Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork

Afternoon/evening: arrival
Optional: visit to Van Griffen’s restored hunebed, from 19.00 h.

Tuesday October 2, 2007 (day 1) Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork

9.30 Opening by Drs. Puck Huitsing, director of the department of war victims and remembrance World War II, of the ministry of Public Health, welfare and sport (VWS)
9.45 Film The Holocaust experience, introduced by Oeke Hoogendijk, director

Theme 1: The value of the historic site

11.00 Lecture by James Young – The social meaning of the historical site (invited)
11.45 Lecture by Dr. David Marwell (USA) – Countries without historical sites (invited)


13.30 Lecture by Professor Dr. Paul Schnabel (NL) –The value of the historical site for the younger people
14.30 Lecture by Dr. Rob van der Laarse (NL) – Heritage in the cultural identity

Theme 2: Composition of the historic site

15.30 Workshops
Teresa Swiebocka (P) – Auschwitz: the conservation of historical traces
Torsten Hess (D) – Dora-Mittelbau: reconstruction of the past
Marek Bem (P) – Sobibor: total destruction of the historical traces
Drs. Dirk Mulder (NL) – Westerbork: artistic design
Harold Veldkamp (NL) – Westerbork: presentation project Tensing

Dinner on “Estate Het Grote Zand”

19.30 Visit to the campsite of Camp Westerbork
20.30 Summary of the day by Margriet Vroomans and Ton de Ridder (invited)

Wednesday October 3, 2007 (day 2) Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork
Theme 3: Requirements for the historic site in future

9.30 Lecture by drs. Carry van Lakerveld (NL) – Demands from victims as stated by the International Auschwitz Committee
10.00 Lecture by Tim Copeland (GB) – Pedagogue specialised in heritage education

11.00 Lecture by dr. Gerrit Breeuwsma (NL) – Demands from the children (invited)
11.30 Lecture by Professor Dr. H.W. von der Dunk (NL) – Demands from society


13.30 Forum-discussion with the key-note speakers

15.30 Draft of recommendations and demands regarding the historical site
16.00 Ending of the conference by Drs. Jet Bussemaker, state secretary of the ministry of VWS

Barbecue on “Estate Het Grote Zand”

21.00 Concert on the site of Camp Westerbork
with contributions from Maarten Peters and the Gustav Klimt Quartet

Thursday October 4, 2007 (day 3) Camp Amersfoort and Camp Vught

9.00-16.00 Visit to the historic sites of Camp Amersfoort and Camp Vught
accompanied by Magriet Vroomans


Anne Bitterberg

Herinneringscentrum Kamp Westerbork