In his capacity as Dutch consul in Kaunas, Jan Zwartendijk helped thousands of Jews escape from Lithuania in 1940 by issuing them with forged visas.
More than 2,000 small light lines form a spiral measuring more than seven metres in diameter, which swirls around the tree directly opposite Jan Zwartendijk’s former office: the light lines represent the survivors – adults and children – who, thanks to Jan Zwartendijk’s courageous act, survived the Holocaust. The intensity of the light varies, and every now and again a movement passes through them, they are joined together for life. A monument that celebrates life. The design was officially unveiled on the 15th of June in Kaunas, Lithuania, with two of Zwartendijk’s children present, one of the survivors (who came over specially from Australia), Dutch King Willem-Alexander, the president of Lithuania and the mayor of Kaunas.
Dim. Ø 730 cm
Height: from 320 up to 400 cm
On Thursday, 14th of June, I took part in the Dutch Radio 1 News broadcast with Jurgen van den Berg. You can listen to the broadcast here
For a video registration of the work see this link
Commissioner: Bert van der Lingen, Nederlandse ambassadeur in Litouwen, Ministerie van Buitenlandse Zaken, Den Haag
Production: Yens & Yens en CM3 custom-made
Construction: Bussel Engineering
Photography: Andries de Marez Oyens