A school in a heavily Muslim neighborhood of The Hague delayed plans for a Holocaust monument over vandalism fears. Gerard Brasjen, a spokesman for the Paul Kruger School, told JTA on Tuesday that the Christian-affiliated school’s board had discussed a plan to place a commemorative plaque on the school facade, but the plan stalled “not because of the Jewish-Muslim issue but because it may not be wise in the neighborhood, which is not a peaceful place.”
Before the Holocaust, the building of the Paul Kruger School, in the
Schilderswijk neighborhood, housed the Joodsch Lyceum, a Jewish high
school. Kruger was an Afrikaner national leader.
Last week, the De Telegraaf daily reported that the school dropped
the plan following objections by local residents who said a Holocaust
plaque might not be acceptable to some members of Schilderswijk’s
sizable Muslim population, but Brasjen said he was not aware of such
The Center for Information and Documentation on Israel, a Hague-based
watchdog on anti-Semitism, wrote in a statement Monday that “it seems
that the school feared there would be protests,” but “there is little
reason to fear violence against memorial monuments for Jewish children
in the area.”
Anat Harel, a co-organizer of a Holocaust commemoration event May 4
at the school, told De Telegraaf that a poster advertising the event
could not be placed outside the building “because of concerns regarding
kids hanging around the school.”
Following the publication, the anti-Muslim Party for Freedom asked
Security and Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten to research anti-Semitism
among Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands.
The De Telegraaf report came on the heels of a story in the Trouw
daily that said a part of the Schilderswijk neighborhood had turned into
a “Sharia area,” where police dare not enter and non-Muslims are
regularly harassed — claims that city officials have denied.