Topics of the day
In the morning the fellows will focus on the unofficial motto of Humanity in Action: “Never be a
Bystander”. Instead of focusing on perpetrators and victims, we choose to focus today on those who were
not directly involved. Did they resist? Or did they stand by and do nothing? If so, are they to blame? Do we
have a responsibility to act, even when our lives are in danger?
We start with the role of bystanders in WWII according to a controversial book, written by historian Bart
van den Boom (2012). Did the Dutch population know what was happening to the Jewish (as well as
Roma, and LGBT) population? Ido de Haan, also historian, openly opposes some of van den Boom’s views.
From this dark page in our history, we turn to the present with a person who feels strongly about her
responsibility to act: Shirin Musa. Musa recently turned her fight against forced marriages into a NGO.
What inspired her to take action? And what difficulties does she run into?
We will go on to discuss another recent controversial issue: growing anti‐Semitism amongst ‘Turkish’ and
‘Moroccan’ youth. Earlier this year, researcher Mehmet Sahin decided to share his worrying observations
about this topic by filming a group of Turkish boys who openly make grave anti‐Semitic remarks. After the
documentary was broadcasted, Sahin was ostracized by members of his own community for scapegoating
these young men. He was forced to go into hiding. Others however consider him a hero for speaking up.
Sahin will outline his motivations for making this much‐hyped documentary.
Finally, the desire to act upon human rights violations can also take a more formal role by means of an
institution. Kathalijne Buitenweg will explain more about the mission of the new Netherlands Institute for
Anne Frank House, Westermarkt 10
Relevance of the Holocaust, part 3 : bystanders in WW II
Women’s Rights NGO
The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights
09.00 – 09.30 Introducing the day – Nienke Venema
09.30 – 11.15 ‘We know nothing of their fate: ordinary Dutchmen and the Holocaust’
Historians Bart van der Boom and Ido de Haan will discuss the
role of bystanders in WW II
11.15 – 12.30 ‘Femmes for Freedom, the birth of an NGO ’
by Shirin Musa, initiator
12.30 ‐ 13.15 Lunch outside (own expenses)
13.15 ‐ 14.45 ‘A controversy in the Dutch media: antiSemitism
of the youth’
with Mehmet Sahin, researcher VU University and Annemarike Stremmelaar
14.45 – 15.00 Coffee & Tea
15.00 ‐ 16.30 ‘The mission of The Netherlands Institute for Human Rights (College voor de
Rechten van de Mens)
Kathalijne Buitenweg, member of the Institute for Human Rights
16.30 – 17.30 Wrap up the day