Dutch Maccabiah Delegation Visits the Anne Frank Memorial.
(photo credit: KKL-JNF)
The 20th Maccabiah, also known as the ‘Jewish Olympic Games’, has come to a close. Between the 5-18th of July, 10000 Jewish athletes from 80 countries came to Israel to participate in 3000 tournaments for 47 different sports.
The Dutch delegation consisted of sixty participants this year, including medical staff and the board. The Netherlands participated in men’s and women’s hockey, swimming, chess, bridge, cycling, the half marathon and karate.
For many of the Dutch participants, it was the first time they visited Israel. For that reason, the Dutch Maccabiah organization and KKL-JNF decided to organize a visit for the team to the Anne Frank Memorial Park, a forest park planted in the Jerusalem Hills in1960 to commemorate Anne Frank. This young girl would leave a powerful legacy after the diary she kept while spending her teenage years in hiding was discovered and published. She perished in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in 1945. Otto Frank, her father, planted the first tree in the forest.
In May 2011, with the support of JNF Holland, a special monument was created symbolizing Anne’s life during her years in hiding. The installation is made of steel, depicting the edges of a cube. On one side, the cube is filled in, with small spaces showing between the branches of a stylized chestnut tree. Anne Frank looked out from her little room in the back of the house on a chestnut tree, a small piece of the nature and freedom that she so desperately longed for. Her monument is stands in the middle of Israel’s nature and depicts so well the feeling of constraint and the longing for freedom.
The visit to the park moved the Dutch delegation deeply.
"I have just realized how special it is that I can be in Israel," said one of the young team members. "Anne Frank had never been allowed to experience this, which gives me a great responsibility to ensure that Israel remains."
Read more about the Dutch Maccabiah delegation to the Anne Frank Memorial