Behind the Star

The NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies is a national and international centre of expertise for interdisciplinary research into the history of world wars, mass violence, and genocides, including their long-term social consequences. In addition, NIOD collects, preserves, and provides access to archives and collections. It is based in the Netherlands.

Recently they have started a collection titled “Behind the Star” it is a series of photographs of Dutch Jews wearing the Yellow star during World War 2.

Below are just some pf those images , but first a bit of history about that Star.

On April 29, 1942, the Nazis announced another humiliation for the Dutch Jews . From May 3, they had to wear a recognition batch : a six-pointed yellow Star of David with the word ‘Jew’ in the middle. The star made people recognizable as Jews on the street. The German occupier wanted to further isolate Jews from the non-Jewish Dutch. Failure to wear the star would be severely punished. You could be sent to a concentration camp for it.

The picture at the top of the blog:Photo from 1942 of nurses at the Jewish psychiatric institution Het Apeldoornsche Bosch. From left to right:
(above) Rita van Stratum, Veronica Davids-Delaville/Rita Schijveschuurder, Nico Speijer, Rita Schijveschuurder/Veronica Davids-Delaville, Jeanette Zeckendorf; (below) Ruth Pestachowsky, Jetty van Geens, Jansje Klein, Josephine Koen.

Jewish Council. The provincial representatives of the Jewish Council. In October 1941, the Jewish Council for Amsterdam was given national powers. Local branches of the Jewish Council were established in the larger Jewish communities in the province. From left to right: J. Brandon (former municipal official in Amsterdam), chairman prof.dr. D. Cohen, Dr. L. Weyl (Middelburg), unknown, R.H. Eitje (Department of assistance to non-Dutch Jews), S.H. Aptroot (Groningen), M.B.B. Nijkerk, mr. A. de Haas (Utrecht), G. Sanders (Enschede), de Winter, prof.dr. J. Brahn (Beirat for German Jews), General Advisor Meijer De Vries (former senior official at the Ministry of Social Affairs). Standing: unknown.

In the summer of 1943, a Jewish transport departed to Westerbork from the shunting yard in the Eastern Docklands (Panamakade) in East Amsterdam.
Employees of the Jewish Council (with armbands) receive instructions from a German officer.

The building in the background is Loods III.

On the far right is a guard of the Sybren Tulp Company of the Amsterdam Police Battalion (PBA). He is a member of the Germanic SS (emblem visible on the tunic, just above the sleeve band).

Jewish man with two horses in labor camp ‘de Landweer’ in Elsloo, 1942.

Jewish children are taught handicrafts in the Jan van Eyckstraat. page.
The Out-of-School Youth Care (BJZ) was one of the dozens of departments of the Jewish Council. For Jewish children, the BJZ was a welcome distraction from the worries of everyday life. The BJZ tried to create a relaxed atmosphere in the few available and hardly usable premises. Jewish youth leaders kept the children occupied with activities such as crafts, music, folk dancing, and Jewish history. There was also a lot of sports. This met a clear need because Jewish children were not allowed to be members of sports and other recreational associations.

This photo comes from a small photo album with a total of 36 photos. The photographer, who has remained anonymous, prefaces his work with a handwritten introduction: ‘Flashes from the work of the Out-of-School Youth Care. This album doesn’t want to show more – it can’t show more – because only flashes are possible of the ever-changing aspects that the care for young people shows outside school hours.’
Caption: ‘Stretched – yet relaxed!’
Period of time
March 1943


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