Place a Stone

Participatory memorial in Amsterdam

A new memorial on the Dam Square in Amsterdam for the victims who perished during the fatal shootout in the same location on May 7th, 1945, two days after the German capitulation in the Netherlands.

The memorial is co-created by thousands of visitors to Each participant is invited to place his/her stone in order to help write the names of thirty-two victims.

Dam Square – collaborative lettering carved in granite stone

On march 1, 2016, the collective end result was transferred to stone reliefs, and embedded in the pavement of the Dam Square.

The memorial’s unveiling took place on may 7, 2016.

Construction Dam Square

Everyone who visited between June 2015 and March 2016 was invited to add one small stone, and to replace one small stone per name. As a result the typeface was continually growing and shifting.
Starting as a single row of small stones, the typeface expanded with the burgeoning number of participants.

More and more stones were placed and replaced, and more decisions were made ➝ where can a letter be bigger, or fatter, or how can a letter become more readable? By being allowed to place only one stone and replacing another, the typeface transformed ceaselessly in the course of nine months.

Watch the stones being placed over the course of 9 months

Music ➝ Perseverance by Louis Andriessen, © Boosey & Hawkes, London
The collaborative result of more than 15 000 stones and participants

The web interface of during the months of participation

May 7th, 1945

May 7th, Amsterdam, photo: Wil F. Leijns
Location, Dam Square Amsterdam

On May 7th, two days after Germany’s capitulation in the Netherlands, at least 31 people perished on the Dam square during a shootout between German soldiers and members of the Dutch Forces of the Interior. It was the last major massacre on Dutch soil. For many years the number of victims was unclear and their identity largely unknown.

For several years now Foundation Memorial 2015 for Dam Victims May 7 1945 researched this incident and succeeded in recovering the names of the victims.
The foundation also takes action to ensure the realisation of a memorial with all the names of those who perished as a result of the shootout.


  • Concept, Design and Development
  • Curator and Project Advisor
    Ronald van Tienhoven
  • Commissined by
    Foundation Memorial 2015 for Dam Victims May 7 1945