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The Jewish Council in Amsterdam.

The ‘Jewish Councils’ of Western Europe

A Comparative Analysis
This project is a comparative investigation of the ‘Jewish Councils’ that were established at the behest of the German occupier in Western Europe in 1941: the Joodsche Raad voor Amsterdam (JR) in the Netherlands, the Association des Juifs en Belgique (AJB) / Vereeniging der Joden in België (VJB) in Belgium and the Union Générale des Israélites de France (UGIF) in France. The monograph will be published by Cambridge University Press (CUP) in 2022. Deze monografie wordt in 2022 gepubliceerd door Cambridge University Press (CUP).

Jewish Councils, and similar representative institutions the Nazis forced upon the Jewish communities in occupied Europe, have been the subject of much controversy in the public and the academic domains. 

The tendency to address Jewish wartime leadership from a moral framework, which started during the war and has continued to the present day, has caused these Jewish bodies have chiefly been remembered as forms of collaboration. Moreover, they have been assessed as part of debates about the mortality rates of the Jews in individual countries. Yet their histories were far more complex than has hitherto been recognised. 

Based on a wide range of primary and secondary sources, this is the first comprehensive comparative project of these Jewish bodies of Western Europe during Nazi occupation. It challenges the existing historiography by offering new evidence about the complexity of these organisations and their contexts.



Transport of luggage to Westerbork, especially for those who left 'hastily'.
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1016 CJ Amsterdam
020 52 33 800
Opening hours reading room
  • Tue - Fri09:00 - 17:30 u
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