Home Institution

Franklin and Marshall College

Publication Date

Fall 2018

Program Name

Netherlands: International Perspectives on Sexuality and Gender


This research begins to investigate the ways constructions of Dutch-Jewish history and the Holocaust in the Netherlands post World War II have become active symbols of heritage or physical sites of heritage for tourists and host communities alike. In this paper I consider the ways in which the memorialization of Anne Frank in Amsterdam and the human rights violations documented more broadly in the host community, the Netherlands, during the Holocaust has and continues to influence identity politics of the Dutch nation-state, its culture, and citizens on both a local and global stage in contemporary times. The “Jewish History – Anne Frank Tour,” an experience offered through Airbnb, is presented as a case study and ultimately represents the evolution of a long running social phenomena in which the reimagining and retelling of Dutch Jewish history from a neoliberal nationalist lens transforms Dutch Jewish history into a subject of tourism in relation to the nation-state. In this process Jewish peoples and identity are cultivated into productive citizens of the state though market virility via the mass tourism industry. In reconstructing the past and historical memory of a Dutch-Jewish community within a tolerant Dutch nation-state, an ahistorical retelling of Dutch history comes into play the assimilation of Jews and Judaism into the Netherland’s represents virtues of Dutch tolerance and culture. So the Netherlands’ response of regret, remorse, and reception to the Holocaust as an unacceptable chapter of heritage allows the Dutch government and nation-state to present as progressive and tolerant in a globalized context, when in reality the Netherlands may be relapsing into the practices of exclusion and injustice they participated in during World War II.


Dutch Studies | Inequality and Stratification | Jewish Studies | Politics and Social Change


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