Restricted Education

The right to education is one of the most fundamental human rights. In August 1941 the Nazis passed a law to set up schools for Jewish students and teachers only in the Netherlands.

The picture above is of Jewish students of the school on Cliffordstraat, Amsterdam West. A class of 10 students, with teacher Goubitz.The municipality opened one school for these very scattered children, in the Staatsliedenbuurt, on Cliffordstraat at number 36, in a school building that was no longer in use. It was quite eccentric to the other western neighbourhoods of the city.

At the end of September 1941, when that Jewish school No. 14 opened, only 56 children showed up. The Education Department had probably assumed a larger turnout, three classes had been formed with two teachers plus the head Mozes Goubitz, who came from the Corantijnschool near the Surinameplein.

Given the enormous distances some children would have to walk every day, it is likely that many parents simply kept their children at home from September 1941 onwards. There was compulsory education, also for Jewish children, but supervision failed.
Abel Herzberg wrote in his Chronicle of the Persecution of the Jews “Sometimes a child had to walk an hour or more from home to school. After all, trams and bicycles were forbidden. Sometimes a handcart from the Jewish Council collected the heavy schoolbags from the houses.”
When it was handed over to the Education Office of the Joodsche Raad in December 1942, this small school did not escape the austerity reorganization. At that time there were only 25 pupils and that did not require 3 teachers; it became a one-class school, which, despite attempts to find accommodation elsewhere, remained located in the school building on Cliffordstraat; closing off the rest of the building. That lasted until the end of May 1943; West was also not spared by the occupier during the major raids, so almost no children showed up in the last week of May. The education board also closed this school on May 31; headmaster Mozes Goubitz had already been succeeded by Gerrit van Praag, who immediately went into hiding in those days.

Master Jakob Druijf, who lived in West and was unemployed when school no. 1 at the Oude Schans was closed, took the handful of children that were still there under his wing, at his home in the Jan van Galenstraat.
His name and his class of 10 students are still mentioned in the last report of the board of Jewish education, dated August 23, 1943.

In the summer of 1942, Mozes Goubitz went into hiding. After the war, he returns to the Postjesbuurt and to the Corantijn School where he resumed his duties as a teacher. He died on 21 March 1991 in Malaga, Spain.

I don’t know what happened to the children but I am certain most of them were murdered.


1 Comment

  1. historiebuff says:

    For chronological context, that last date mentioned was exactly 4 years before my birth. Not so long ago ,really.


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