Meijer, Jacob

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MEIJER, JACOB ("Jaap "; 1912–1993), Dutch-Jewish historian. Born into an impecunious provincial Jewish family, Meijer received a stipend to attend the Ashkenazi Teachers and Rabbinical Seminary in Amsterdam from the age of 13. He later studied at the University of Amsterdam, and in 1941, one of the last Jewish students allowed to do so, took his Ph.D. with a thesis on the 19th-century Amsterdam Sephardi author and poet Isaac da *Costa. He survived two years in Bergen-Belsen concentration camp (1943–45). From 1945 on he taught history at municipal high schools, including a number of years in Paramaribo, Dutch Guyana, and in Haarlem.

With strong Jewish awareness, he wrote several books on Dutch-Jewish history, particularly on the 19th and early 20th centuries. His works include Het verdwenen ghetto ("Walks through the Prewar Jewish Quarter of Amsterdam," 1948), Het Jonas Daniel Meijerplein ("Three Centuries of Amsterdam Jewry," 1961), Erfenis der Emancipatie ("Dutch Jewry in the First Half of the 19th Century," 1963), Zij lieten hun sporen achter ("Jewish Contributions to Dutch Culture," 1964), VanIsraeliten tot Israeliers ("150 Years of Jewish History in The Netherlands," 1965), and De zoon van enn Gazzen ("The Life of Jacob Israel de Haan," 1967). He also published two volumes of Encyclopedia Sefaradica Neerlandica (1950), covering the letters A-C and D-F; the project was never completed.

Meijer also wrote monographs on Dutch-Jewish personalities, such as on the bibliographer and first librarian of the Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana, Meyer *Roest, and Chief Rabbi J.H. *Duenner, and contributed regularly to Dutch periodicals, general and Jewish. In addition, from 1968 on, he published many volumes of poetry – in Dutch and in the dialect of the region of his birth, East-Groningen – under the penname Saul van Messel.


L. Dasberg and J.N. Cohen (eds.), Neveh Ya'akov, Jubilee Volume presented to Dr. Jaap Meijer on the occasion of his 70th birthday (1982); I. Cornelissen, Een dwarsliggende Jood, Jaap Meijer (1995).

[Henriette Boas]

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Meijer, Jacob

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