“Standing commemoration" for 75 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
What happened in Breendonk must never be forgotten.
To honour the 3,600 prisoners, we organised a unique commemoration at Brussels Central railway station on Saturday 16 December. Some men stood there for a whole day in front of a wall, just like the prisoners had to do at the time when they arrived in Breendonk.
Indeed, upon their arrival at Breendonk, prisoners were immediately taken to the courtyard. There, they were forced to stand still, facing the wall. Thus, they had to wait for their registration and camp clothes. No one knew in advance how long that would take. Moving, breathing or coughing were punished mercilessly. Fear ruled.
The men stood in the shoes of the prisoners at Brussels-Central station for a whole day. Without real fear, of course. A symbolic commemoration so that today's generation will never forget the horror of Breendonk.
It offers a confrontational look at the past and reminds us why it is essential to remain vigilant against human rights violations. Because since 1948, we have celebrated Human Rights Day on 10 December. On that day, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.
Come see what no one has wanted to see and visit the real wall at the Fort of Breendonk, a site of the War Heritage Institute.
Your visit is of historical significance.