The ideas of Etty Hillesum are undiminished and socially relevant. The question of how to relate as an individual to issues such as enemy-thinking, polarisation, anti-Semitism, but also solidarity and freedom, is an ongoing challenge and a necessary and urgent question for all of us. All the more reason, therefore, to strive to safeguard the history and thought of Etty Hillesum for future generations through a physical and tangible place of remembrance in Etty's own birthplace.
It is of utmost importance that, as the last witnesses of World War II fall away and future generations become increasingly distant from this period of history, its legacy remains. the Etty Hillesum House Foundation, established on 19th May 2020, will keep the memory alive of Etty Hillesum and her fellow sufferers. It will also contribute to the dissemination of knowledge and insight about a period of persecution and oppression, a time when people were confronted with war and dictatorship, and the weighty dilemmas these presented. The house is undertaking the very important social role of contributing to raising awareness (and combating) contemporary anti-Semitism by anticipating this troubling trend in an educational and pedagogical way.
In 2020, a unique opportunity arose to create The Etty Hillesum House, an institute for education, science, art and culture in her birthplace in the provincial capital of Zeeland at Molenwater 77.
The Etty Hillesum House, an institute for education, science, art and culture, has now been realized in her birthplace. From these four pillars, various activities are developed including; exhibitions, kids' lectures, poetry workshops, symposia, workshops, educational activities and lectures. In addition, the Etty Hillesum Research Center (EHOC) founded in 2006 by its former director Prof. Dr. Klaas Smelik moved to the birthplace to continue its important work.