Rotterdam Jewish Community Functioned Underground During Occupation, Most of Jews Gone

The Jewish community council of this city, which functioned underground during the German occupation, has emerged from hiding and resued its pre-war tasks, under the guidance of the three officers who directed its clandestine activities for more than four years.

The three – David Hausdorff, president; Louis Wyler, treasurer and Arthur Coben, secretary – distributed relief supplies, including matzohs on Passover, negetiated with the Rotterdam municipality for return of confiscated Jewish property after Holland was liberated, and maintained an underground synagogue.

From January of this year until the liberation of Rotterdam a few weeks ago, the council distributed 225 hot meals daily, and it is continuing to do so. It is bedly in need of shoes, clothing and underwear, but its lack of supplies has not prevanted the community leaders from going ahead with plans to establish schools to train Jews for the ceramic industry and poultry farming.

Of the 12,000 Jews who lived in this city, which was almost destroyed by German bombers during the invasion of the Netherlands, there are now 400 registered with the council. Many of these did not reside here before the war. Among the survivors are 60 children, for whom a Hebrew school has already been set up.

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