Kazerne Dossin: Mémorial, Musée et Centre de Documentation sur l’Holocauste et les Droits de l’Homme / Kazerne Dossin: Memoriaal, Museum en Documentatiecentrum over Holocaust en Mensenrechten

  • Kazerne Dossin: Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights

History

Kazerne Dossin was built in 1756 and was at various times used as accommodation for Austrian and Belgian soldiers. From July 1942 up to the liberation in 1944, the barrack functioned as SS-Sammellager Mecheln for Jews and Gypsies. After the end of the Second World War, the building again served its original purpose as a school for the administration of the armed forces. However, in 1975, this military institute moved, after which Kazerne Dossin fell into disuse. This is why the complex was divided into apartments in the 1980s. At the request of the Vereniging van de Joodse Weggevoerden in België- Dochters en zonen van de deportatie (VJWB) (The Association of Jewish Deportees in Belgium–daughters and sons of the deportation) and the Centraal Israëlitisch Consistorie van België(CICB) (Central Jewish Consistory of Belgium), space was made available for a museum about the period during which the barrack served as a transit camp. The Flemish Government, the Province of Antwerp and the City of Mechelen financed the purchase of Kazerne Dossin’s ground floor and the basement of the right wing. The Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance (JMDR) was officially inaugurated on 7 May 1995 by King Albert II. On 22 June 2001, the Flemish Government approved the basic concept which was to lead to the establishment of the renewed museum: Kazerne Dossin–Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights. The location of Kazerne Dossin–Memorial, Museum and Documentation Centre on Holocaust and Human Rights remains remarkable. It is one of the few museums in Europe in the actual historic place that is proof of the tragedy that came over the Jews during the Second World War. Kazerne Dossin wants to first and foremost be a historical museum, but also an educational aid, a memorial and a warning lest we forget.

Archival and Other Holdings

In 2003, the archives of the JMDR were recognised as one of the Flemish‘theme archives’. The Documentation Centre has received a statutory mandate to collect and centralise all information regarding the persecution of Jews and Gypsies in Belgium and Northern France. This comprises the digitizing of documents and archives which are in both public and private hands and the safekeeping of original documents and archives.

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