Razzia Monument (2023) Anne Wenzel

photo Lotte Stekelenburg
About the artwork

It is on Friday, November 10, 2023 Razzia Monument unveiled by Mayor Aboutaleb in the park on Parkkade. Visual artist Anne Wenzel designed it Razzia Monument, in which unity and division are central. The Rotterdam Razzia Monument Foundation took the initiative to realize this monument. It Razzia Monument is a memorial for all victims of the raid, which took place on November 10 and 11, 1944 in Rotterdam and Schiedam. The statue consists of a man and a woman placed at a distance from each other. The figures were once one whole, but the raid separated them. Just as lovers were brutally torn apart by the raid, the image makes this cruel separation palpable. The wound caused by the divorce is literally and figuratively visible – in color and shape. The woman symbolizes all the women who stayed behind and had to wait to see if their loved ones would return, and if so, when. The man represents all the men and boys who were taken away. The emotional power of the image is great: you feel and see the heartbreaking pain of those left behind and the despair of the deportees. Despite their vulnerability, they are not broken, but full of confidence and strength.

About the raid
On November 10 and 11, 1944, the Nazis, meticulously prepared and unexpected, deported 52.000 men between the ages of 17 and 40 from Rotterdam and Schiedam. Most of them are taken to Germany as forced labor. They have to leave their loved ones behind in fear and uncertainty for months. Due to exhaustion, illness, poor care, accidents, bombings and attempts to escape, more than 500 men did not survive the horrors.

Rotterdam Razzia Monument Foundation started the process to develop a monument together with BKOR. Anne Wenzel's design was unanimously chosen from a longlist of artists. During the annual razzia memorial in 2021, initiators René Versluis and Jan Willem Cleijpool of the Rotterdam Razzia Monument Foundation presented the draft design, which was unveiled by Mayor Aboutaleb. Anne Wenzel and her team worked with Luigi Zuliani in close contact with the initiators, BKOR and the municipality of Rotterdam on the realization of the monument.

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About the artist

The Rotterdam artist Anne Wenzel (Schüttorf, 1972) is an internationally known sculptor and works mainly with ceramics. From 1992 to 1997 she studied at the Academy for Art and Industry (AKI) in Enschede and she studied for some time in Barcelona. Wenzel has lived and worked in Rotterdam since 2008. She was nominated for various art prizes, including the Prix de Rome in 2007 and Dolf Henkes prize in 2009. In 2010 she won the Sidney Meyer Fund Australian Ceramic Award (International Artist category) and in 2014 she was the winner of the European Ceramic Context in Bornholm, Denmark. In her work, building up and tearing down go hand in hand; beauty and devastation meet. Themes such as heroism, heroism and decay inspire her. She experiments with different types of glaze, colors and processing techniques, which can cause the ceramics to partially shine, appear rough or appear to melt. Her work is included in many museum and private collections, both at home and abroad. She has also participated in numerous exhibitions. In 2014 she had the solo exhibition The Opaque Palace in TENT. And in 2023 she had the solo exhibition Carte Blanche (fuck the dictator) in the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. She has also made various sculptures for public spaces, including a large fountain (2016) for the Zwolle court and Monument for Freedom (2020) in 's-Hertogenbosch.

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