About 30 elderly Moroccan men from Slotervaart in Amsterdam West visited the former Nazi death camp of Auschwitz Saturday. The visitors visited the part of the camp where 70,000 resistance members and POWs were killed. Sunday they will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau with its gas chambers, where about 1.1 million Jews and other people were killed. They will lay a wreath there. Almost 40,000 Dutch Jews were gassed to death in the camp immediately after their arrival.
The Werkgroup Marokkaanse Ouderen (workgroup Moroccan elderly) from Amsterdam West took the initiative to get the 30 travelers to share an important part of Dutch history. The visit will contribute to their historical insight and to their realization of the happenings in Europe during World War II. The visit will also get them involved in memorial days such as May 4th and 5th.
The group are composed of very religious Muslims, several of which are imams. Many of the participants fulfill important roles in teh local Moroccan community and will be able to pass on their experiences to others. The Dutch Auschwitz Committee is leading the tour, which will last till Monday, on request of the workgroup, and will ensure that they can fulfill their religious duties during the trip.
A group of Amsterdam students, which included many Muslims, visited Auschwitz several weeks ago.
Source: Telegraaf 1, 2 (Dutch)
See also: Netherlands: Teaching the Holocaust