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Eleventh edition of the Portrait Ceremony


On Thursday 30 November 2023, Kazerne Dossin will organise its 11th Portrait Ceremony. This year sees the addition of 49 new portraits to the museum’s Portrait Wall. To date, the museum has been able to ‘give a face’ to the name of almost 21,000 deportees from the Dossin Barracks. During this commemorative ceremony, we share the life stories of some people whose photographs were found or donated in the past year.

The Portrait Wall

The Portrait Wall at Kazerne Dossin is a living, growing monument. The immense wall is the outcome of the ‘Give Them a Face’ project, launched in 2004, to track down photos of deportees. This year sees the addition of 49 new photos to the wall. A total of 20,953 photographs and 4,890 silhouettes now keep the memory of the greatest crime against humanity to happen in Belgium alive.
All the portraits can also be found on the memorial website, where people can leave a message and light a digital candle.

Collecting portraits

On 4 October 2023, a new remembrance project was launched alongside ‘Give Them a Face’, called ‘Every name matters’. Kazerne Dossin is currently looking for 25,843 people, who will each record the name of one person who was deported from the Dossin Barracks. The registrations have proved very successful. Kazerne Dossin also received additional information and photos thanks to this new project.

A new photo also surfaced in the margin of Kazerne Dossin’s project on racism, discrimination or anti-Semitism in football. Andreas Kahrs, a German sports historian, put the museum in touch with the descendants of the Austrian professional footballer Norbert Lopper. They also donated a photo to the museum.

Other initiatives outside the museum, such as Struikelstenen (Stolpersteine) Deurne and the House of the Franco-Belgian Resistance, have also played an important part in finding portraits.

The ceremony is also a good opportunity to thank all the volunteers, researchers, partner institutions and donors and serenely reflect on the life stories of the people whose portrait we are adding this year.