I give guided tours on the history of Jewish Amsterdam, because I think it is important that
this story “לדור ודור”, is passed on from generation to generation. The story of Jewish Amsterdam is one of persecuted Jews, who have taken refuge in the city since the end of the sixteenth century. Amsterdam was partly formed by them, as they built their lives here, integrated and emancipated themselves. Some became very important to the development of the Dutch capital.
World War II is an abrupt and painful chasm in their thriving history. How could 80% of the Jews in the Netherlands – most of whom lived in Amsterdam – be murdered? How did the ones that survived the holocaust pick up the pieces after the war?
Jewish Amsterdam, this beautiful part of the city, is an excellent spot to tell the story of centuries of Jewish life and history, in which persecution, fleeing and starting again are a constant theme. In my experience – and that of the visitors I give guided tours to – this helps us become aware of what happened here. This gives us the opportunity to realise how we are always in danger of losing our freedom; the freedom to be who you are.
Read more about Jeanette Loeb.