The Westerbork transit camp
The Westerbork transit camp iStock

Citing threats of violence by Dutch Jews, a local Holocaust museum cancelled an event devoted to raising awareness of the plight of Syrian refugees.

The director of the Memorial Center Camp Westerbork, Dirk Mulder, announced Monday the cancellation of the event titled “Night of the Refugee” which was slated for his museum in June. Jewish groups and activists protested the planned event as inappropriate in that it draws parallels between the systemic genocide against the Jews and the situation facing some immigrants today.

Mulder has rejected this claim, recalling how Westerbork was originally built by the Dutch government for Jewish refugees from Germany, before the Nazis turned the compound into a concentration camp.

The Dagblad van Het Noorden quoted Mulder in an interview as saying that the threats over the event came from anti-immigrant activists and the Jewish community. RTV Drenthe quoted him as saying: “The threats came from two places: People who are strongly opposed to refugees and on the other hand you have the Jewish circle.”

On Twitter, Hidde J. van Koningsveld, who heads the CiJo pro-Israel group, called on Mulder to “substantiate with evidence his accusation against Jews, or retract it.”

RTV Drenthe removed the allegation from some of the reports on the issue.

Threats and violence by Dutch Jews are extremely rare.

The canceled event would have featured a march starting at Westerbork, where most Dutch Jews murdered in the Holocaust were kept before they were sent to death camps in Eastern Europe.