Jewish monuments in Amsterdam

Jewish monuments in Amsterdam

Since centuries most of the Dutch Jews have lived in Amsterdam. There are for example still a lot of ‘Jiddisj’ words in the Amsterdam dialect. The Jews contributed  to the prosperity of Amsterdam, to the establishment of the Dutch West Indies Company, and to the Dutch Golden Age. Before World War II, 10% of the population in Amsterdam was Jewish, which meant about 80,000 people – but only 20% of them survived the Holocaust, though. The most well-known victim in Amsterdam is the Jewish girl named Anne Frank, who wrote her world-famous diary while in hiding. Her hiding place in the Secret Annex is a museum, called the Anne Frank House, situated in the centre of Amsterdam at Prinsengracht 263-267.

Jewish Quarter

Before World War II, the Jewish Quarter consisted of Jodenbreestraat, Uilenburg, Waterlooplein, Rapenburg, and Herengracht. The Quarter was transformed into a ghetto during the Nazi occupation. In September 1943 the ghetto was mostly empty because some Jews managed to escape and went into hiding, but most of them were deported. Today there are a few monuments in remembrance of this very dark page in Amsterdam’s history.

The Jewish Historical Museum is housed in a complex of four former synagogues at Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, near Waterlooplein, and directly opposite you will find the Portuguese Synagogue at Mr. Visserplein 3.

The Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch Theatre), at Plantage Middenlaan 24, is a historical monument and a war memorial. In 1941 the Nazi occupiers changed the theatre’s name into Joodsche Schouwburg (Jewish Theatre). After that, only Jewish artists were allowed to perform in the theatre for a Jewish audience. Between 1942 and 1943, Jews from Amsterdam were brought to the theatre before being deported to the Dutch transit camps. From there they were transported by trains to one of the concentration camps in Germany and Poland. In the theatre there is a monument in remembrance of the Jewish victims, and a memorial chapel, listing the 6,700 family names of the 104,000 Jews from the Netherlands who were murdered in World War II.

Next to the Stopera is the Joods Verzetsmonument, located on the corner of the Amstel and the Zwanenburgwal. The monument is a black marble pillar with a Dutch text which translated means: ‘In remembrance of resistance of the Jewish citizens 1940 – 1945’.  A commemoration of Kristallnacht is held here on 9 November every year.

Find more info on : Churches and Synagogues in Amsterdam