Surviving Jews of Amsterdam Beginning to Rebuild Community, Portuguese Synagogue Spared

Reconstruction of the shattered Jewish community of Amsterdam has already begun, although nine-tenths of the city’s 100,000 Jews were deported or killed during the occupation.

Attempts are being made to return Jewish children who were placed in non-Jewish homes for safety to their parents or to place them in the custoday of Jewish organizations. A Jewish newspaper, the “Nieuw Israelitisch Weekblad,” will begin appearing within the next two weeks. The pre-war leader of the community, Abraham Ascher, a prominent diamond merchant, is in a hospital in Mastricht recovering from the effects of confinement at the Bergen-Belsen camp.

The Jewish section of Amsterdam looks “blitsed.” Scores of Jewish homes are only piles of bricks. After their owners were deported the houses were literally torn apart by persons seeking wood for fuel. The famous Portuguese Synagogue is infact. The Montezine Library of the Portuguese Jewish Seminary, however, which contained. 20,000 rare Jewish books, is a complete loss.

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