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Selamat Sjabbat

Tekening van Anne-Ruth Wertheim in het jappenkamp voor Joden op West-Java.
Joods Cultureel Kwartier (JCK) / Hetty Berg
Time period: 1930-2014
Number of interviews: 5
Accessibility: Restricted public
Transcripts: no
Period of interviews: 2010, 2014

DVD transferred to digital audio files (MP4)


The collection is of limited public use. Visitors to the Knowledge Centre can view/listen to the interviews. Conditions for use vary for each interview.

Medium: MP4

The number of Jews in the former colony of the Dutch East Indies has always been limited. The Jews came from different countries. Dutch Jews, the largest group, lived scattered throughout the Indian archipelago, especially on Java, Sumatra and Celebes (Sulawesi). Jews from Iraq, also called ‘Baghdad Jews’, lived mainly in Surabaya and formed a close-knit community there. Jews from central and eastern Europe also settled in the East Indies. They were later joined by several hundred refugees, from Germany, Austria and Palestine, among others. The reason for going to the East Indies was often the same for both Jews and non-Jews: the career opportunities offered by the colony at a time when jobs were scarce in Europe.


The interviews focus on events and experiences in the 1930s – 2014.
They mainly discuss Indonesia, Bandung, Jakarta, Surabaya, Israel/Palestine and Jerusalem, Italy, Genoa, Austria, Vienna and the Netherlands, Rotterdam. Themes include World War II, Japanese occupation, liberation, Anschluss, alia, Jews in the Indonesian archipelago, Zionist League, children, Camp Adek.


List of names and brief description via online database JCK

  • Tamar Wams-Polak
  • Huibrecht Andries Mogendorff
  • Jacques Lisser
    • Mr Lisser (1925) talks about his childhood in Surabaya, the Japanese occupation and the camps he stayed in during the occupation.
  • Lenny van Dam-van Someren
  • Suzanne Dorith Lehrer
    • She recounts her early years in Vienna. The flight from Austria, after the Anschluss, to the Dutch East Indies. The Japanese occupation and staying in several camps. Her stay in the Netherlands after the war and her alia to Israel in 1982.

The Jewish Historical Museum presented the exhibition Selamat Shabbat from 13 October 2014 to 8 March 2015. This exhibition tells the underexposed story of Jews in the Dutch East Indies. The exhibition takes visitors to the late 19th century, the colonial era, the war in the Pacific and the post-war situation. Unique historical objects, photographs and interviews reveal moving stories. Contemporary Jewish life in Indonesia was photographed by Pauline Prior in early 2014. This is the first time an exhibition has focused on Jewish life in the Dutch East Indies and Indonesia, a relatively unknown part of Dutch and Jewish history.