So that they
shall not be forgotten
Jewish Monument Foundation The Hague
The Jewish Monument The Hague Foundation wants to install and maintain a suitable monument in memory of the Jews of The Hague who were murdered during the Second World War. This monument was designed for the population of The Hague, focusing on young people in general and the Jewish community in particular.
After it was completed, the monument was handed to the City of The Hague.
400 years of history
ORIGIN JEWISH COMMUNITY THE HAGUE
Den Haag counted not one, but two Jewish neighbourhoods. Den Haag counted not one, but two Jewish neighbourhoods. There was a large community in the Spui-Haven-area (the Wagenstraat and the Veerkades), [De ‘Buurt’ genoemd] .The second, much smaller one, was around the Nieuwe Uitleg (Smidswater). The ‘Nieuwe Uitleg’ area was mainly populated by ‘Portuguese Jews’. These Jews came to the Low Lands (Holland) late in the 16th century because in 1580 Portugal had become part of Spain. The Spaniards persecuted anyone who wasn’t a Roman Catholic or refused to become one. The term ‘Portuguese Jews’ equally covers Jews from Spain, Turkey and Thessaloniki. These ‘Sephardic’ Jews spoke their own language, ‘Ladino’, based on medieval Spanish, Hebrew and Arabic. In The Netherlands the Sephardic Jews spoke mainly Portuguese. After about 1670 Jews from Eastern Europe started to come to The Hague as well. Most settled in the area behind the ‘Spui’. These were called the Asjkenazi Jews and they spoke predominantly Jiddisch.
ONE OF THE FIRST JEWS TO BE OFFICIALLY REGISTERED IN THE HAGUE
Samuel Pallache (ca. 1550 ~ 1616), a trader-adventurer from Marocco, came with his brother to The Netherlands in1590, where he became one of the founding members of the Amsterdam Sephardic Jewish community. He travelled often between Marocco and The Netherlands and negotiated with Prins Maurits as official envoy of the Sultan about cooperation between Marocco and the ‘Staten van Holland’ about cooperation against Spain and the Barbary pirates. The Prince even gave him a Letter of Patent, a license to capture ennemy ships. In 1614 he attempted to bring a captured Portuguese vessel to Holland. A storm forced him to take shelter in an English harbour, where at the request of the Spanish Ambassador, he was imprisoned. Pressure from Prins Maurits secured his release. Ill and penniless he returned to Holland, where he died on January 4th 1616. As Samuel Pallache he was buried in Beth Haim, the Portuguese cemetary in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, which exists and is used to this very day.
ADMISSION TO THE SHOPKEEPERS GUILD
Unlike Amsterdam, where since 1636 Jews were forbidden to run or own a shop, in The Hague this was allowed. Aron Morijno was the first Jew to become a member of the Sint Nicolaas Guild (the guild of shopkeepers), he ran a shop near the ‘Kikforsbrug’, the Frogs Bridge. The guilds started here in the Middle-Ages. They regulated the production and sale of goods for the local market, but they also had a prominent social function. They were closed fraternities, where in some of their documents one finds fiercely discriminating statements about outsiders, Jews, strangers and foreigners. They were open to Christian men only, so the acceptance of Jewih shopkeepers to the Sint Nicolas Guild was extraordinary. The system of Guilds in Holland survived until 1818!
BARUCH SPINOZA DIES
The famous philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632 – 1677) was born in Amsterdam on November 24th 1632 and died in Den Haag on February 21th1677. He was a great philosopher, mathematician, political thinker and lens-grinder of the early Enlightenment. Spinoza was a Sephardic Jew, but on July 27th 1656 he was expelled from the Portuguese Jewish community in Amsterdam. Around 1661 he moved from Amsterdam to Rijnsburg. He earned his living by grinding lenses. Later he settled in The Hague in ‘De Buurt’, the larger Jewish area. He rented a house on the Paviljoensgracht that still exists.
INFLUENTIAL JEWISH CITIZEN
Don Francisco Lopes Suasso (ca. 1657-1710), Baron d’Avernas le Gras, as was his official title, was a very influential citizen of The Hague. His father was an extremely wealthy banker who in spite of his Jewish roots was ennobled by King Carlos Segundo of Spain. Following his settlement in Den Haag Don Francisco Lopes Suasso as a successful banker continued to build his family’s fortune and invested among others in ‘Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie’. He financed Willem III (of William & Mary fame) to capture the English throne and in his battles against Louis XIV during the ‘Nine Year War’ (1688-1697). His palatial mansion at the Korte Voorhout, now the location of the Ministry of Finance looked truly majestic.
The Portuguese Jews in Den Haag built their most beautiful synagogue (architects: Daniël Marot and Felix du Sart) on the Prinsessegracht. The Asjkenazi Jews obtained a synagogue on the Voldersgracht in 1723. From 1694 both communities buried their dead in the Jewish cemetery behind the ‘Tolhuis’ (toll house) on the Scheveningseweg (today opposite the Peace palace, het Vredespaleis).
FOUNDATION OF THE BOAS BANKING COMPANY
In the 18th century one of the most famous Jewish citizens of Den Haag was the Aschkenazi banker Tobias Boaz (1696-1782), son of a Polish immigrant. In 1690 his father acquired the citizenship of Den Haag. In 1703 he tried to become a member of the wine buyers guild, but was rejected. He then started to trade in jewellery, gold and textiles. In 1716 father and son Tobias started to work together with Hendrik van de Casteele. This cooperation developed into the banking house Boas. Tobias Boas increased the trading activities and managed to make his bank internationally famous.
CONSECRATION OF THE SEPHARDIC SYNAGOGUE
Towards the end of the 17th century several rich Portuguese families moved from Amsterdam to Den Haag. They came to belong to the elite of Den Haag society. Still they remained a group apart due to their mediterranean looks, culture and religion. Early in the 17th century their community counted several ‘house synagogues’, but as their membership started to grow, a desire for a larger ‘real’ synagogue developed. They decided to build a prestigeous synagogue on the Princessegracht. This monumental synagogue in Louis XIV style was consecrated in 1726. Until the Second World War it was continuously used by the Portuguese Jewish community and today it is the synagogue of the LJG, the Liberal Jewish community here.
‘GELYKSTAAT DER JODEN’ – ‘EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW FOR JEWS’
Many Jews in The Netherlands had fled here to escape war and persecution. In the 17th century, in the wake of the Portuguese Jews, many ‘Hoogduitse’ Jews (Jews who had lived for generations in Germany) came here. They had their own language, Yiddish, which was based on old German and had elements of Polish, Russian and Hebrew. Jews could not become members of the Guilds nor be appointed to a public office. At the end of the 18th century, inspired by the ideals of the Enlightenment Jewish associations started to push for the emancipation of the Dutch Jews. In 1796 they finally obtained full civil rights like the Protestant burghers. In practice it was still a long road before they could fully enjoy these rights.
DEVELOPMENT OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY IN THE HAGUE
The 19th century was a period with many new developments. This was reflected in the changes to the Jewish community as well. Remarkable was the growth of ‘De Buurt’, the area behind the Nieuwe Kerk, where many ‘Hoogduitse’, German, Jews had settled.
FOUNDATION OF THE IRON FOUNDRY ENTHOVEN
Lion (Leip or Leo John) Israel Enthoven (1787- 1863) was the son of Israel David Enthoven and Gelle Simons. He was the youngest in a family of four sons and became a music teacher. Apart from his teaching job he traded metal wares like sheets of copper. In April 1824 Lion together with Eduard Bartolomé Louis Maritz, the son of one of his music pupils, started a factory for melting copper and other metals at the Haagsche Trekvaart near today’s Rijswijkseplein. The company flourished and remained in Den Haag until 1905.
GREAT SYNAGOGUE WAGENSTRAAT
As the number of Jews who settled in the area behind the Spui grew, the Jewish character of ‘De Buurt’ became more pronounced. The synagogue on the Voldersgracht became too small and the community decided to build a large formal one. This became the neo-classical ‘Great Synagogue’ on the Wagenstraat. This buiding by the local architect Arend Roodenburg was consecrated in 1844.
FIRST JEWISH CABINET MINISTER IN THE NETHERLANDS
Mr. M.H. Godefroi (1813–1882) was a great legal scholar, who was most influential in the development of the Dutch state institutes. He was the first Jewish member of the Tweede Kamer (viz. the Dutch House of Commons or the House of Representatives), a post for which he was re-elected five times. Politically Liberal he also became the first Jewish cabinet minister in The Netherlands, at first against the wishes of King Willem III. He shepherded the ‘Wet op de Raad van State’ through both chambers of parliament and was very influential in the development of our body of penal law.
FIRST JEWISH ORPHANAGE
In 1850 there was a major cholera epidemic in the province of Zuid-Holland. This epidemic hit ‘De Buurt’ hard, because the living conditions were so bad there. In the wake of this disaster, the Jewish community invested in a number of social institutions for ‘De Buurt’. Rabbi Samuel Berenstein (1808-1893), affectionally called ‘Rabbi Beer’, was one of the initiators of the Jewish orphanage as well as the Jewish hospital in Den Haag. He was also involved in the establishment of the ‘Stichting tot Nut van de Israëlieten’, a major foundation to help Dutch Jews in general and the ‘Vereniging voor de Joodsche Letterkunde en Geschiedenis’, a foundation for the study of Jewish literature and history. Samuel Berenstein hailed from a famous line of rabbis and was supposed to follow his father as ‘opperrabbijn’, senior rabbi, of Amsterdam, but in the capital we was deemed to be too censervative. In 1848 he was appointed opperrabbijn of Den Haag and acting opperrabbijn of Utrecht and Zeeland. He became a great scholar, whose ‘drashot’ (sermons) were famous. T. To recognise his important services to the community he was awarded the title of ‘Ridder in de Orde van de Nederlandse Leeuw’, a major Royal distinction
FOUNDATION OF THE “NEDERLANDSCH CORRESPONDENTIEBUREAU VOOR DAGBLADEN”, THE DUTCH PRESS AGENCY FOR NEWSPAPERS
Few families were so prominently present in Dutch journalism as the Jewish family Belinfante in Den Haag. The Belinfantes were a well known Sephardic family with a long line of journalists. In 1844 they started to work together with the sephardic Vas Dias family, also from a line of journalists. In 1869 the two families founded the ‘Nederlandsch Correspondentiebureau voor Dagbladen’, the Dutch press agency for newspapers. This ‘Correspondentiebureau’ dominated Dutch parliamentary journalism until around 1900. With the establishment in 1934 of the ‘ANP’, the general Dutch press agency, the Correspondentiebureau had to close. Mr. Johan Jacob Belinfante (1874-1947), was the last director of the Correspondentiebureau as well as the first director of the ANP in Den Haag.
From the start of the 20th century Jewish social life in Den Haag was flourishing. Among many other clubs and associations there was a Jewish soccer club, a gymnastics association and various choires. The growth of these social entities was a reaction to the growing secularisation of the community. The Jews in Den Haag spread out from ‘De Buurt’ and an ever larger group -to various extents- turned their backs to the religion. The economy grew well and there were an increasing number of Jewish companies. The shops with Jewish owners were no longer just in ‘De Buurt’, but everywhere in the center of the city and also in areas further away. Chain stores like De Bijenkorf, HEMA, Maison de Bonneterie and the fashion store ETAM had Jewish owners.
FOUNDATION OF THE THE HAGUE FOOTBALL CLUB ‘DE OOIEVAARS’
Originally the club was supposed to be called ‘Vitesse’ but the Den Haag soccer association disagreed. Therefore the name was changed to ‘De Ooievaars’, the ‘Storks’ after the city mascot. In 1941 the German occupiers ordered the club to be disbanded. Out of nine teams only four members survived the war. Still it was decided to re-establish the club and to continue as a general (i.e. not exclusively Jewish) soccer club. ‘Hvv De Ooievaars’ was active until 1986.
OPENING THE NEW FASHION EMPORIUM ‘MAISON DE BONNETERIE’
De Bonneterie was started in Amsterdam, but in 1895 Mr. and Mrs. Cohen-Wittgenstein opened a branch of Maison de Bonneterie on the Gravenstraat 4 in Den Haag. In 1909 they began constructing a new building in the opulent international style of the day to replace the existing shop. On Friday 14 March 1913 their impressive fashion emporium was reopened.
WORLD WAR ONE
Though The Netherlands were neutral during the First World War and life went on much as before, the war was clearly present in the daily lives of burghers. In August, following the German invasion of Belgium, a group of Belgian Jews -as well as a great many others- fled North. Members of the NIG (Nederlands Israëlitische Gemeente) in Den Haag took care of the first shelter. They founded a special committee for fugitives, the ‘Haagsch Comité voor Joodsche Vluchtelingen’ with Mr. Eduard Kann as president. After the war most of the fugitives went back, but a sizable number availed themselves of the possibility to request Dutch citizenship.
OPENING OF THE NEW PAPERFACTORY ‘ESVEHA’
NV Esveha is an old Jewish family company with a long history in Den Haag. The name comes from the founder, mr. Ph. Simons who started a carton factory in 1878 on the Stille Veerkade in Den Haag. From the first the company kept growing and soon it needed more space. It was decided to build a completely new factory outside the center of the city. A plot of land was bought bought at was then the Rijswijkseweg. Notwithstanding the shortages due to the war, the construction went well and on 1July 1916 there was an official opening of the paper and office supply company NV Esveha.
FOUNDATION OF LOET C. BARNSTIJN STANDARD MOVIES
Loet C. Barnstijn was de son of Hertog Izak Cohen and Eva Barnstijn. He grew up in Enschede and at the age of 24 he moved to Den Haag. He found work in a textile company and worked his way up from clerk to buyer. By starting the ‘Standaard Films’ company and in 1925 the ‘Loet C. Barnstijn Filmproductie’, he laid the foundation for the first Dutch language talking movie. In 1931 Barnstijn produced: ‘Zijn Belooning’ and three years later he was one of the investors in ‘De Jantjes’, which was an outstanding success. In 1932 he produced a movie about Jewish Amsterdam. Fragments from this film were abused by the German occupiers in 1941 by inserting them into the Dutch version of the antisemitic movie ‘De eeuwige Jood’, Loet Barnstijn had a large studio in park Oosterbeek just between Den Haag and Wassenaar, which was called Filmstad. In early May 1940 the Dutch government requisitioned the studio buildings to imprison German prisoners of war and Dutch traitors.
RABBI ISAAC MAARSEN INSTALLED AS SENIOR RABBI OF THE HAGUE
Isaac Maarsen was born in Amsterdam on February 27th 1892. He had already been working for six years as a rabbi in Amsterdam when at the age of 33 he was appointed opperrabbijn of Den Haag. During the Second World War the care for the Jews of Den Haag became his primary task. Even after the German occupiers forced the Jews to leave Den Haag for Amsterdam, Westerbork or for labour camps abroad, he continued to strive for the well being of his community and refused to go into hiding. On 21 April 1943 he was deported together with his entire family and three months later they were all murdered in Sobibor.
NEW SYNAGOGUES IN SCHEVENINGEN AND IN THE BEZUIDENHOUT
Since the start of the 20th century Scheveningen too had a flourishing Jewish community. In 1926 a new synagogue was inaugurated at the Harstenhoekweg. Another new synagogue was established in the Carpentierstraat in the Bezuidenhout area, North West of the city centre.
FLIGHT FROM THE NAZI TERROR
From the moment moment Hitler had become chancellor of Germany, a steady stream of Jewish fugitives from Germany entered The Netherlands. The city of Den Haag housed them on an estate, the ‘Landgoed Ockenburgh’.
KRISTALLNACHT: JEWISH CHILDREN SHELTERED IN THE HAGUE
In 1938 the Dutch Government decided that all Jewish fugitives were ‘unwanted foreigners’ for whom there was no place here. Still after Kristallnacht, the night from 9 to10 November 1938, The Netherlands allowed some 9000 Jews in, Jews who back in Germany were in mortal danger. There was a condition however, The Dutch Jewish community had to organise and pay for their stay. In Den Haag 200 children were temporarily housed in Jewish orphanages, with families and shelters.
SECOND WORLD WAR
In 1940 at the start of the war, the Jewish community in Den Haag consisted of around 17.000 people. About 12.000 Jews from Den Haag have been murdered in concentrationcamps. Some 2.000 returned to the city from the camps or out of hiding. Then there were about 1.000 who were in a mixed marriage and a number of ‘ontsterde’ Joden (Jews who had been baptised) who had survived the Holocaust. It is estimated that some 2000 people didn’t return to Den Haag but settled elswhere in The Netherlands or abroad. Some of them never ever wanted to be registered as Jews again.
BEGINNING OF THE ANTI-JEWISH LAWS AND MEASURES
All Anti-Jewish measures the German occupiers took had as goal to isolate and register the Jews. Step by step the Jews were alienated from the rest of Dutch society. This happened without notable protest.
JUNE 29, 1940
CARNATION DAY AND THE FIRST ANTI-JEWISH ORDINANCE IN THE HAGUE
On June 29th 1940 (Prince Bernhard’s birthday) the citizens of Den Haag spontaneously showed their distaste of the occupiers by wearing carnations. This day was henceforth known as ‘carnation day’, because the Prince always wore a carnation in his lapel. The Germans used this Carnation Day to issue their first anti Jewish measure: Jews were removed from the municipal air defense service. This was the first of many measures designed to registrate and isolate the Dutch Jews.
APRIL 20, 1941
ARSON IN THE GREAT SYNAGOGUE
On the 20th of April, a Sunday night at around eleven o’clock there was fire in the Great Synagogue. When it was put out it became clear that there had been four different fires in the building. The flames had destroyed a number of wooden benches and the holy ark had been doused in petroleum and set alight. Tora scrolls, ornamental silver and the embroidered cover of the ark doors were lost.
MAY 2, 1942
ALL JEWS ORDERED TO WEAR THE “JEW’S STAR”
On May 2nd 1942 the Germans ordered all Jews to wear the ‘Jodenster’. This was a small piece of yellow cloth printed with the six pointed star of David and the word ‘Jood’, Jew. This Jodenster had to be worn whenever a Jew was in public, outside his home. As all textiles were rationed the Jews had to pay 4 cents (about €2 today) for a bit of cotton smaller than a piece of toilet paper and surrender one textile coupon.
JUNE 17, 1942
LIMITED SHOPPING HOURS IN THE HAGUE
Many streets in Den Haag and Scheveningen became off-bounds to Jews. Jews were only allowed to shop between three and five o’clock in the afternoon.
DEPORTATIONS OF THE THE HAGUE JEWS
The deportations began in August 1942. At first the ‘Academie voor Beeldende Kunsten’ on the Prinsessegracht was the gathering place for Jews of Den Haag who were to be deported. Shortly afterwards the ‘Joodsch Tehuis’ on the Paviljoensgracht 27a – before the Second World War a Jewish community centre – became the starting point for the deportations. There is a plaque on the façade of that building to commemorate this atrocity. The massive deportations continued to September 30th 1943 when the great majority had been deported. Jews who still lived in the city were either married to a non-Jew or in hiding.
AUGUST 18, 1942
TRANSPORT FROM RAILWAY STATION ‘STAATSSPOOR’ (TODAY THE ‘CENTRAAL STATION’)
August 18th 1942 4000 Jews from Den Haag had to report at the railway station Staatsspoor (now Den Haag Centraal) to be deported. They were the first of the approximately 14.000 Jews from Den Haag, who by way of the Westerbork transit camp would finally end up in the concentration camps in the East. Because not many Jews obeyed this order, the (Dutch!) police from Den Haag went to fetch them forcibly. The deportation trains departed at night from the Staatsspoor station in order not to attract attention.
AUGUST 25, 1942
JEWISH STUDENTS BARRED FROM ORDINARY SCHOOLS
By decree on August 25th 1941 the German occupier stipulated that from September 1st 1941 Jewish students were no longer allowed to attend ‘normal’, i.e. non-Jewish, schools. This meant that Den Haag had to organise special schools for Jewish students. The young Jewish children were only allowed to go to the schools in the Bezemstraat 1-3 in ‘De Buurt’ and on the Duinstraat 10. From December 1st 1942 all primary school children had to go to the Bezemstraat.
SEPTEMBER 8, 1942
SITTING ON PUBLIC BENCHES ‘VERBOTEN’
In Den Haag Jews were no longer allowed to use public benches.
APRIL 23, 1943
JEWISH STUDENTS BARRED FROM ORDINARY SCHOOLS
The German occupiers decided that Jews were no longer allowed to live in Den Haag. Most Jews had already been deported bij April 23rd 1943 and Jews who were still here attempted to go into hiding.
AFTER THE WAR
At the start of the Second World War approximately 17.000 Jews lived in Den Haag. After the war some 2.000 returned. Taking up their normal lives proved difficult. There was no help or even understanding for the returning surviving victims of the Holocaust. Many were without their home. During the war their houses had been confiscated and getting them back proved to be a struggle.
SEPTEMBER 1, 1945
OPENING OF THE EMERGENCY SHELTER ‘PRINS MAURITSLAAN’
To provide a first roof for the returning war victims emergency shelters were established all over Den Haag. To ensure they could have kosher food, a special shelter for the more orthodox Jews was organised on the Prins Mauritslaan 94. On September 1st 1945 the ‘Gemeentelijke dienst Noodtehuizen Gemeente Den Haag’, the municipal service for emergency shelters, formally opened the building. This service was also charged with the care for the returnees. It organised the journey back, did medical check-ups, political background checks and registration.
S.V.H. STARTS AGAIN
The paper factory ESVEHA on the Rijswijkseweg was rebuilt. After the war the director, Jo Hartog, who had escaped to Suriname, returned and took his brother, Philip Hartog, onto the board of the firm. Philip would rebuild the company. In 1952 Izak Zadoks joined the board and in 1959 werd he became the CEO.
RESTART OF THE GAZAN FASHION FACTORY
In 1880 begon de Jewish businessman Joseph Gazan (Amsterdam, November 27th 1851 – Amsterdam, November 3rd1925) started a clothing shop called ‘Gazan’ on the Zeedijk 46 in Amsterdam. In 1934 it was decided to move to Den Haag. Directors at that time were Hijman and Louis de Wind and Isaac van Weezel. Of the Gazan family only Selina de Wind-Gazan and Louis de Wind survived the war.
Salomon Gazan, son of the founder of the Gazan company, was murdered in 1943 in Sobibor. Daughters Anna and Betsy were killed in 1944 in Auschwitz. Also grandchildren as well as great grandchildren of Joseph and Eva Gazan-Arends were murdered in Auschwitz or Sobibor. Hijman and Selina de Wind-Gazan survived the war in the U.S.
After the Liberation Louis de Wind, grandson of Joseph Gazan, returned to the factory. In November 1955 Louis celebrated his 25 year jubillee as director. In 1976 the Zeeman corporation bought Gazan.
IZAK ZADOKS PRESIDENT OF THE NEDERLANDS ISRAËLITISCHE GEMEENTE (NIG), THE ORTHODOX JEWISH COMMUNITY
Not many Jews from Den Haag survived the war. After the war restarting Jewish life in Den Haag wasn’t easy. The institutions and buildings were far too big for the number of returnees. This was especially hard for the NIG, the orthodox community. Izak Zadoks, the CEO of Esveha was president of the board of the NIG from 1946 until his emigration to Israel in 1978. Under his leadership the Great Synagogue on the Wagenstraat was sold to the city of Den Haag and half the Jewish cemetery in Wassenaar to the city of Wassenaar. Den Haag gave the Great Synagogue to the Turkish community, who made it into their Al Aksa mosque.
RENEWED FOUNDATION OF THE LIBERAL JEWISH COMMUNITY, L.J.G
It took until the 1950’s for a small group of people to find the courage to restart the LJG, the Liberal Jewish Community. This ‘Liberaal Joodse Gemeente’ was refounded in 1958. Mr. R.A. (Bob) Levisson who played a major part in this ‘resurrection’, was to be its president for decades. One of his achievements was the purchase and restauration of the old Portuguese synagogue.
OCTOBER 12, 1967
UNVEILING OF THE AMALEK MONUMENT
The Amalek Monument with the big Star of David was established to commemorate the Jews from Den Haag who, during the war, were deported and murdered by the occupier. The Monument was unveiled by senior rabbi S. Beëri together with the mayor of Den Haag Mr. H.A.M.T. Kolfschoten. Originally it was affixed to the façade of a building on the Gedempte Gracht belonging to the Levi Lassen Foundation, on whose initiative it was commissioned. Today it is part of the Jewish Monument Den Haag.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1968
FIRST SERVICE IN THE PREVIOUSLY PORTUGUESE SYNAGOGUE
The first liberal service in the former Portuguese synagogue took place on September 15th 1968. The Amsterdam liberal rabbi, dr. Jacob Soetendorp, installed his son Awraham Soetendorp as the first rabbi of the LJG, the Liberaal-Joodse Gemeente Den Haag. From September 1st 1976 on the former Portugese synagogue has been the permanent house of worship for the Liberal community in Den Haag.
OPENING NIG (ORTHODOX) SYNAGOGUE IN THE CORNELIS HOUTMANSTRAAT
From 1986 the orthodox synagogue has been on the Cornelis Houtmanstraat in the Bezuidenhout area. Between the wars, Jews in Den Haag had a full choice of synagogues. But many of these had been plundered and heavily damaged during the war. After the war not all synagogues could be restored and used anew. The Great Synagogue of the orthodox NIG (Nederlands Israëlietische Gemeente te ‘s-Gravenhage) was restored, but it had become much too large for the now tiny Asjknazi-Jewish community. In June 1986 dr. A. Baumgarten, president of the NIG, started with the building of the new synagogue, which was officially consecrated on September 30th 1986 in the presence of Queen Beatrix.
UNVEILING OF THE MONUMENT FOR JEWISH CHILDREN
In 1999 the name Bezemstraat was changed to ‘Rabbijn Maarsenplein’, in commemoration of rabbi Isaac Maarsen, the Jewish opperrabbijn of Den Haag in the Second World war. On November 20th 2006 a monument was unveiled to commemorate all the Jewish, Roma and Sinti children from Den Haag who had perished during the war. This ‘Kindermonument’ was established on the place of the playground of the former Jewish primary school on the Bezemstraat. A side-monument with all the names of the murdered children from Den Haag, Jewish, Roma and Sinti, can be found in the Museon.
JANUARY 28, 2018
UNVEILING OF THE JEWISH MONUMENT FOR THE DEPORTED AND MURDERED JEWS OF DEN HAAG
On January 28th 2018 the Jewish Monument The Hague was unveiled on the Rabbijn Maarsenplein by the mayor of Den Haag, Ms. Pauline Krikke. This monument, designed by Anat Ratzabi, incorporates the Amalek sculpture by Dick Stins in 1967 that was formerly on the Gedempte gracht. The monument commemorates not only the murdered thousands but also ‘De Buurt’, the Jewish area that flourished around this square for almost four centuries. The keynote speaker during the unveiling was Dr. Ernst Hirsch Ballin, his impressive speech can be read here.
During the Second World War, the majority of the Jewish population in The Hague was deported and murdered in concentration camps. Over 14,000 Jewish residents of The Hague were deported, and at least 12,000 of these were murdered. That makes The Hague the second city in the Netherlands when it comes to the number of Jewish residents who were deported and killed.
It is now over 70 years ago since the end of the Second World War and The Hague still did not have a fitting monument to remember and commemorate its Jewish residents. For that reason, the Jewish Monument The Hague Foundation took the initiative to create a monument in the heart of the old Jewish district in The Hague to remember and commemorate their fellow citizens. So that they are not forgotten.
On behalf of the foundation, artist Anat Ratzabi created a design for a meaningful monument. The monument has various elements and also integrates the existing Amalek monument on the Gedempte Gracht, creating a beautiful and historic monument at the heart of the old Jewish district. The Hague, and in particular the Jewish community, now has somewhere they can go to remember and commemorate their fellow citizens.
The Amalek monument used to be in the Gedempte Gracht in The Hague. It was created in 1967 by Dick Stins and unveiled again after a renovation in 2007. It is in the form of the Star of David. In the Star of David, there is a family seeking protection and at their feet is a picture of a victim of the Holocaust.
By the Star of David is a line from Devarim (Deuteronomy), one of the five books of the Torah, the Jewish name for the Old Testament.
‘Remember what Amalek did to you… don’t forget. (DEUT: 25.17.19 )’ Underneath is the same text in Hebrew.
Amalek is the grandson of Esau, who with his people was the archenemy of the Israelites.
The creation of the memorial was an initiative of the Stichting Levi Lassen. The monument was unveiled on 12 October 1967 by Chief Rabbi S. Beëri.
The memorial was attached to the wall of the Stichting Levi Lassen building on the Gedempte Gracht in The Hague.
Levi Lassen 1884 – 1962
Jacques Levi Lassen was born on February 25th 1884 in Bergen in Germany – as Jacob Levi. At the age of 15, he started work with the textile company Siegmund Strauss Jr. In 1904, this company sent him to the Netherlands to run a branch in The Hague. He decided to stay permanently in the Netherlands and in 1920 was given Dutch citizenship. In 1923, he obtained approval (by Royal Decree) to take the name Lassen. The company flourished and expanded until the start of the Second World War. Urged by his colleagues, J.L Lassen left The Hague and spent the war years in New York. In 1946, he resumed the running of the company. In memory of the former residents of the Jewish District, J.L. Lassen dedicated the last 16 years of his life to redeveloping this old district. On June 24th 1957, J.L. Lassen founded the Stichting Levi Lassen, of which he was the only director until his death (March 5th 1962) and to which he left his entire estate.
The Jewish Children’s Monument was designed by the visual artists Sara Benhamou and Eric de Vries. The monument is in the form of six steps or ladders, in the form of stacked chairs that are no longer used, because the children are no longer there. They all have a different height. The idea of the designers is that you climb up the chair stairs or ladder towards heaven, where the Jewish children are now. The first names of 400 killed children are written on the chairs, followed by their ages. These 400 names symbolize all Jewish children who died.
The Jewish Children’s Monument is simultaneously a monument and a playground for children.
Monuments walking route
You can follow a special walking route to get an impression of the Jewish Heritage in The Hague. Click here for the walking route.
Gemeente Den Haag
Stichting Levi Lassen
Prins Bernhard Cultuurfonds
M.A.O.C. Gravin van Bylandt Stichting
De Frans Mortelmans Stichting
Stimuleringsfonds Rabobank Regio Den Haag
Piet van der Slikke & Sandra Swelheim
De heer en mevrouw R. Drake
Dr Hendrik Muller’s Vaderlandsch Fonds
B’nai B’rith Loge Hollandia
Charlotte en Joop van Caldenborgh
Rob en Laura Zeldenrust-Meerts
Goudse Stichting voor Joodse Sociale Arbeid
More information about Jewish The Hague is available on the following websites.
Jewish Heritage The Hague(A lot of information on the timeline is taken from this website)
Liberal-Jewish City of The Hague
Netherlands Israeli Community The Hague
Jewish Cemetery The Hague
Jewish Cultural Quarter Amsterdam