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Seeligmann, Sigmund


SEELIGMANN, SIGMUND (1873–1940), bibliographer and historian. Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, Seeligmann came to Amsterdam in 1884, later studying at its rabbinical seminary. Maintaining worldwide contacts with Jewish scholars, he put his rich knowledge and important library at their disposal. Of his many articles and monographs on Jewish bibliography and the history of the Jews in the Netherlands, especially important are "Het geestelijk leven in de Hoogduitsche Joodsche Gemeente te's Gravenhage" ("The Spiritual Life of the Dutch Jewish Community in The Hague," in: D.S. van Zuiden, De Hoogduitsche Joden in 's Gravenhage (1913)); and Bibliographie en Historie; bijdrage tot de geschiedenis der eerste Sephardim in Amsterdam ("Bibliography and History; Contribution to the History of the First Sephardim in Amsterdam," 1927). Many of his writings are collected in his Varia (1935), nos. 1–36, in one volume. His original theories on the settlement of Conversos in The Dutch Republic and his emphasis on the special character of Dutch Jewry (Seeligmann coined the by now legendary phrase species hollandia judaica) greatly stimulated the study of this chapter of Jewish history. In 1919 he founded the Genootschap voor Joodsche Wetenschap in Nederland ("Society for the Science of Judaism in the Netherlands"). He was active in many Jewish institutions, including a term as president of the Dutch Zionist Organization.

[Frederik Jacob Hirsch /

Irene E. Zwiep (2nd ed.) ]

His son, Isac Leo *Seeligmann (Arieh; 1907–1982), biblical scholar, was born in Amsterdam, and served as lecturer in the Netherlands Israelite Seminary from 1936 to 1939. In 1946, after returning from a Nazi concentration camp, he was librarian at the University of Amsterdam. In 1950 he joined the department of Bible at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, becoming professor in 1966.


L. Hirschel, in: Ha'Ischa, 12 (1940); M.H. van Campen, In Memoriam Sigmund Seeligmann (1941).

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