Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Amsterdam Jewish Quarter

This past Sunday Dan and I explored the old Jewish quarter of Amsterdam.  One of the buildings we visited was the Hollandsche Schouwburg, a theater from 1892-1942 when it became a deportation place.  On the ground floor was a monument to all the people who didn't return.  Mostly, it was a list of names--6700 last names representing the 104,000 who were killed.  And as I do here, I looked for my last name.  And I found it.  I also found each of the last names of my three other grandparents.

Using the computer they had there, I did a bit more digging and found that 159 Slagers, approx. 300 Kleins, 21 Posts, and 1 van__  did not survive the Holocaust.

There's a really good chance I'm not related to any of them, but we share something fundamental.  And I don't think I had ever thought before about how the Jews living in the Netherlands were just as Dutch as I have ever been.  Their families had been in the Netherlands since 1811 when Napoleon forced the Dutch to take last names.  They were Dutch.  They were also Jewish, but they were Dutch, until they were just Jews.


  1. Oooo. If you ever go back, look for Boekman and De Miranda! Those are my grandmother's family. I'm not sure how many of them would have lived near/been deported out of Amsterdam but they might have been! Also, it's interesting to note there were also a lot of Dutch people who were not Jewish who were put in the camps for various other infractions -- political or social. The Nazi's were fun like that. :P

  2. Thanks for sharing this, Beth. Makes my heart hurt.