New Exhibition in Amsterdam: ‘The Persecution of the Jews in Photographs.’

Tuesday, 4 June, 2019

‘The Persecution of the Jews in photographs. The Netherlands 1940-1945’

If you plan on participating in the EHRI Conference ‘Holocaust Studies and its Social Setting’ on 3 July in Amsterdam, you may take the opportunity to visit the exhibition ‘The Persecution of the Jews in photographs. The Netherlands 1940-1945’ at the Dutch National Holocaust Museum in development. Later this year, the exhibition will travel to the Topographie des Terrors in Berlin.

Of all the countries in Western Europe occupied by the Nazis, the Netherlands suffered the largest proportion of Jewish victims. In total, 104,000 of the country’s approximately 140,000 Jews (75%) did not survive the Holocaust. The exhibition covers various themes inherent to the persecution of the Jews in the Netherlands. It starts with the Jewish life before the war, and through themes such as ‘isolation and intimidation’, ‘the Jewish labor camps’ and the ‘deportations’, the darkest history of the destruction of the Jews is told. 

The persecution of the Jews in the Netherlands during the years of German occupation has been captured in numerous images. Many of the photos were made by professional photographers, generally commissioned by Nazi authorities for use as propaganda. But countless amateurs also took pictures documenting the persecution and deportation of the Jews. EHRI coordinator, the NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, administers by far the largest collection of photographs on this theme and has conducted in-depth research on the visual history of the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands.

Countless archives in the Netherlands and other countries have been consulted, leading to the discovery of numerous previously unknown photographs. Unlike in most countires occupied by the Nazis, many of these photographs have been preserved. The exhibition of these photographs is curated by the NIOD and the event is a collaborative venture between the Jewish Cultural Quarter in Amsterdam, the NIOD, and the Topographie des Terrors in Berlin, where the exhibition will be on view from the autumn of 2019.

Dutch collaborators of the Sicherheitsdienst check the identity cards of Jewish vendors


Jewish school in Deventer, 1942. Only the girl in the white dress survived the war.


To find out more about the exhibition, please visit the website of the Jewish Cultural Quarter. The exhibition can also be viewed online.

The Persecution of the Jews in photographs. The Netherlands 1940-1945 will be on show at the National Holocaust Museum in development in Amsterdam until 6 October 2019 and at the Topographie des Terrors in Berlin from 30 October 2019 to May 2020.

Read a review of the exhibition in the New York Times