Dutch Crown-Prince Willem-Alexander unveiled the Jewish Historical Museum’s latest acquisition at a ceremony marking the museum’s 80th anniversary on Tuesday afternoon.
The event in Amsterdam’s Portuguese Synagogue also marked the official launch of the Jewish Cultural Quarter.
The heart of (old) Jewish Amsterdam is in the Jewish Cultural Quarter; it comprises the Jewish Historical Museum, the JHM Children’s Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue and the Hollandsche Schouwburg or Dutch Theatre.
The Jewish Historical Museum (JHM) first opened its doors in 1932; at the time the collection comprised just 335 objects. The JHM was forced to close after the Nazi’s occupied the Netherlands in May 1940. Most of the collection was stolen and most of the country’s synagogues were vandalised or destroyed.
Just 30,000 of the country’s 140,000 Jews survived the Second World War and the museum’s future was rather uncertain; despite the difficulty of the post-war years, the JHM survived and thrived.
The museum moved to its present location in 1987 and there are now around 50,000 objects in the collection.