Reappraising the History of the Jews in the Netherlands

BookReappraising the History of the Jews in the Netherlands

Reappraising the History of the Jews in the Netherlands

The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization


September 15th, 2021

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‘This volume features new research and, more importantly, new historiographic perspectives about how to write the history of the Jews in Europe. Because it is very sensitive to issues with which historians of other Jewish communities grapple - for example, the place of Holocaust memorialization in community life, the impact of multicultural politics, Israel and Zionism - it has the potential to move the history of Dutch Jewry into closer conversation with other European Jewish histories.’
Todd Endelman, Professor Emeritus of History and Judaic Studies, University of Michigan
'Two decades have passed since the last history of the Jews of the Netherlands was published, and the editors of the present volume have taken great care to ensure that the main points of the substantial amount of new research on the history and culture of Dutch Jewry have been incorporated.'
Jonathan I. Israel, Emeritus Professor of European History, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton
'This welcome new volume positions the history of the Jews of the Netherlands squarely in the contemporary historiographical landscape. It is persuasive as to how and why it has something to say to the broader field, and why it should be seen as an integral part of that field.'
David Rechter, Professor of Modern Jewish History, University of Oxford

The two decades since the last authoritative general history of Dutch Jews was published have seen such substantial developments in historical understanding that new assessment has become an imperative. This volume offers an indispensable survey from a contemporary viewpoint that reflects the new preoccupations of European historiography and allows the history of Dutch Jewry to be more integrated with that of other European Jewish histories. Historians from both older and newer generations shed significant light on all eras, providing fresh detail that reflects changed emphases and perspectives. In addition to such traditional subjects as the Jewish community’s relationship with the wider society and its internal structure, its leaders, and its international affiliations, new topics explored include the socio-economic aspects of Dutch Jewish life seen in the context of the integration of minorities more widely; a reassessment of the Holocaust years and consideration of the place of Holocaust memorialization in community life; and the impact of multiculturalist currents on Jews and Jewish politics. Memory studies, diaspora studies, postcolonial studies, and digital humanities all play their part in providing the fullest possible picture. This wide-ranging scholarship is complemented by a generous plate section with eighty fully captioned colour illustrations.

Author Information

Hans Blom is Emeritus Professor of Dutch History at the University of Amsterdam, and the former director of the Netherlands Institute for War Documentation. David J. Wertheim is the director of the Menasseh ben Israel Institute for Jewish Social and Cultural Studies, Amsterdam. Hetty Berg is the director of the Jewish Museum Berlin. Bart T. Wallet is Professor of Jewish History at the University of Amsterdam.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
List of Illustrations, Maps, and Tables12
Notes on the Contributors17
Note on Transliteration and Names18
List of Abbreviations20
1. The Middle Ages29
2. Settlement, Toleration, and Association until 163959
3. The Republic of the United Netherlands until about 1750: Demography and Economic Activity96
4. The Jews in the Republic until about 1750: Religious, Cultural, and Social Life126
5. From Nations to Citizens: Jewish Life in the Low Countries in the Shadow of the Enlightenment, 1750-1814193
6. Religiosity, Civility, and Industry': The Centralization and Nationalization of the Dutch Jews, 1814-1870221
7. Dutch Jews, the Jewish Dutch, and Jews in the Netherlands, 1870-1940272
8. The War, 1940-1945354
9. Between the Margins and the Centre: Jews in the Post-War Netherlands402
Dutch Jewish History: A Visual Essay478
Index of Names586
General Index596