The Netherlands / Monument
The Ellen Hoffmann Square is not only named after one of the murdered Jewish inhabitants of Gennep, her name is also a symbol for all victims of war and violence. Led by ceramists Frans and Isabelle Smeets, almost 300 inhabitants of Gennep adorned the intimate square in the heart of Gennep with beautiful mosaics in 2001. A plaque and a pond with a dove of peace in the middle of the square express the Gennep community's desire for a peaceful and safe world. The 'Knowledge Kitchen' with an exhibition on Gennep and the war is located in the adjoining library.
Ellen Hoffmann was a Jewess from Gennep who died during the years of occupation, a fate that befell almost all Jews from Gennep. She was originally from Goch in Germany, but she married cattle trader Arthur van Leeuwen and ended up in the small town on the river Niers in 1939.
Fearing deportation, Ellen went into hiding with her sister in Berlin in 1943. There she fell into the hands of the Gestapo following betrayal. Miraculously, she survived several camps, but a so-called death march (murderous evacuations of emaciated camp residents) at the end of the war proved fatal to her. Presumably, she was shot dead. Her husband Arthur van Leeuwen and daughter Anneke survived the war.
Ellen Hoffmannplein 1, 6591 CP Gennep