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Belgium with a
population of about 10.7 million, is about the size of the State
of Maryland. It
a multilingual country with Dutch as the primary language in the
northern half, known as the Flemish Region. French
is spoken in the southern half, called the Walloon Region, while
a smaller, German speaking community is located along the eastern
border. A mix of these languages is spoken in the Capital
Region of Brussels.
The term "Low Countries" is used collectively for Belgium,
Luxembourg and the Netherlands, a reference to the low-lying
nature of the land.
On May 10, 1940 the Nazis occupation of the entire country began.
Some months later, the Nazis launched their anti-Jewish campaign and
fifty-three thousand Jews were deported out of 100,000 residing in the
country. Jews were able to hide in an area of Belgium that
the Germans, during WW 1, also did not occupy.
The majority of the
Jews living in Belgium at this time,
were foreign nationals, including many stateless ones. Many tried
to flee the country; some returned and others fled to the US, Latin
America, Portugal, Britain, etc.
There was considerable support in
Belgium for resistance to the German occupation. Over 25,000 Jews
avoided deportation by hiding from the German authorities. The
Belgian civilian administration refused to cooperate in the
deportations. Since most of the Jews in Belgium were
immigrants, they tended to be mistrustful of official appeals and were
less likely to report their whereabouts to the authorities. The German
military police carried out the deportations. Between 1942 and 1944, the
Germans deported nearly 25,000 Jews from Belgium to the
Auschwitz extermination camp. Most were murdered there.
Mechelen camps served as collection centers for the
deportations. Fewer than 2,000 deportees survived the Holocaust.
Allied forces liberated Belgium in
Today, Belgium has the fourth largest Jewish
community in Europe. There are scattered small Jewish
communities in Knokke, Ostend, Ghent, Liege, Charleroi, Arlon,
Waterloo, and Mons.
A SONG IS BORN.......
In the summer of 1942, as persecution of
Belgium 's Jews
began, an underground
group took form in cooperation with the
underground and set out to rescue
children by hiding them in various places around the country. The
most active team consisted of twelve-women, mostly
who managed to hide some 3000 children. This admirable clandestine
campaign was unique by the complexity of its structure and the
degree of its success.
The only remaining survivor from the team is Andre Geulen, and on September
4, a great number of the children who had been hidden,
celebrated her ninetieth birthday. The celebration included a
screening of a DVD in which singer Keren Hadar performed a song in
her honor. The song stirred a great deal of emotion.
This song, composed very shortly before
the event, arose from an impulse on the part of one of the hidden
children - Shaul Harel, who today is a professor of pediatric
neurology. And this is how it happened.....
One warm summer day at the Isrotel Dead
Sea Hotel, the Harel family was visiting for a performance of the
opera Ada at Masada. Shaul Harel was lolling alone in the whirlpool
bath. As the warm water and the complete solitude began to take
effect, he wondered intensely what gift he could bring to Andre for
her birthday. "After all, she already has everything. After the war,
she married a
attorney, they were blessed with two daughters and with
grandchildren and great grandchildren, and to this day she is
surrounded by the love of the children she rescued."
Suddenly, as to Archimedes in his warm bath, the Muse descended to
him. Although he did not emerge with mathematical equation - since
mathematics was never his subject - he just as suddenly decided to
write her a poem. And this is not to be taken lightly, since for
many years he had written nothing but medical documentation and
The warmth of the water and the
atmosphere brought lines tumbling into his mind, and as if
possessed, he burst into the hotel room and told his wife, Dahlia,
to sit down and transcribe because otherwise the lines would "get
from him. His wife raised her eyebrows, thinking that the desert
heat had overpowered him. But she consented and soon a poem was on
paper telling Andre's story. Shaul's imagination took him further
and he said that the poem should be set to music and his favorite
singer, Keren Hadar, should Perform it.
Since the poem was
written in free verse, Dahlia worked rhymes into it. The poem was
read to Keren and she was moved to tears. She said that it was
suitable for setting to music and that she would like to sing it.
She recommended Rafi Kadishzon, a prolific and well-known composer.
Rafi heard the poem, liked it, and immediately recommended Dan
Almagor, a master of the Hebrew word, to adjust the text for the
music. In the end, Dan Almagor contributed greatly to the rhythm, to
the refrain, and to the perfect fit of the lyrics.
All this occurred in the course of two
weeks. A week later, the song was recorded, the DVD visuals were
prepared, and copies were printed with graphics and with a
translation. Everyone who saw it was moved, and now, here it is for
sung by Keren Hadar, with
"Belgium Jewish Heritage"
Available from the Belgian Tourist Office, 780 Third Avenue, Suite 1501,
New York, NY 10017. This booklet has information about Jewish
museums, kosher restaurants and Jewish organizations.
"Index of Jewish Family Names and Family Search Indicators to Provide
Quicker and Easier Searches in Brussels' Archives"
Claude Geudevertt, this index is a genealogical tool which provides
useful information for those interested in finding their Jewish roots
and their possible connections with Belgium. An alphabetical list
of family names, based on available archival sources in Brussels,
along with the first location where an individual or family is known or
proved to have lived prior to coming to Brussels. This
index is one of a series of helpful publications available from
at a nominal charge.
"Memorial to the Jews Deported from Belgium 1942-44"
(Memorial de la Deportation des Juifs de Belgique")
by Beate Klarsfeld, was published after 1978 in English and should be
available from F.F.D.J.F 32, rue la Boetie, 75008 Paris, France
or from The Beate Klarsfeld Foundation 515 Madison Avenue New
York, NY 10022
Cities and Towns in Belgium
Synagoog van de Portugese ritus Hoveniersstraat 3
Antwerp was one of the main transit ports in Europe. The
Flemish port city encompasses one of the last remaining shtetls in the
world. Diamonds and Orthodoxy are the two forces of this
community. There are six large Ashkenazi Shuls and one
small Sephardi one located across from the diamond exchange.
On the front of the synagogue is a memorial plaque to the victims of a
Palestinian terrorist bomb placed there in 1981. The primary
language is Yiddish, French or Hebrew. Useful
addresses in Antwerp can be found listed
Antwerp Census of 1913
Names and addresses may be obtained
by writing to Micheline Guttmann, GenAmi, Paris, France
Antwerp Passenger Lists
Available via the
internet. Make your request by posting a message in the
soc.genealogy.benelux newsgroup who
are very helpful.
Emigrants leaving from Antwerp to the US and Canada, in
the period from 1872 until 1935, were in general, transported by the Red
Star Line. Unfortunately, it is said that nothing has survived of
the Red Star Line archives. The only source of information for
emigrants who were not residents of Belgium are the registers of
hotels and boarding houses. Emigrants did not usually stay in
hotels, but in boarding houses. Some, but not all, registers of boarding
houses are kept at the Stadsarchief in Antwerp and can be viewed
there. The periods available are:
Nothing available for 1890-1891
Jan Bousse of Oostende, Belgium firstname.lastname@example.org
may be contacted for additional information according to a posting to
Shtetl Within A Shtetl
There had been a Jewish presence as
early as the 13th century, but it took 500 years before Jews
could worship freely. The Jews were accused of creating the
Black Plaque of 1348 by poisoning the wells. Under Spanish rule,
between 1506 and 1713, the city attracted Conversos from
Portugal who created not only a diamond and pearl industry, but also
the sugar trade and in 1536, established the first international stock
exchange in Europe.
Around the middle of the 16th century, Spanish sovereigns
expelled Conversos who had arrived before 1543; by 1591, just 47
families remained. The Treaty of Utrecht in 1713 brought Antwerp
under Austrian rule and Jews - including a few
Ashkenazim were allowed residency in the city if they paid a special
Jews were allowed, for the first time to settle freely in Antwerp
after the French occupied the Low Countries in 1794. Ashkenazim
became dominant. In 1815, Antwerp was incorporated into The
Netherlands and Jews were granted equality. A Jewish
cemetery was established in 1828. In 1830, Belgium
gained independence and over the next 30 years, the Jewish community
grew to almost 1,000.
In 1939, the Jewish community reached 50,000 from the count of
8,000 in 1880 which made the Jews to be about 20 percent of the
city's population. At the beginning of WWII, (April, 1941),
pro-Nazis occupied Belgium and attacked Jewish shops and
synagogues and in August they took over the diamond exchange.
With the help of the Jewish Resistance, some 800 Jews were hidden
in the city, but, more than half of the Jewish community was
murdered by the Nazis.
The city is referred to as the only European city with a shtetl.
The Jewish community is concentrated in Jootsewijk (the
neighborhood around Pelikanstraat) and is highly visible of men in
black coats and beards and modestly dressed women pushing baby
carriages. There are over a dozen synagogues - all of them
Orthodox and now has a population of 18,000 Jews.
For information about synagogues and kosher food, contact
Wenger, Director of Shomre Hadas
Antwerp has an independent Jewish newspaper - Belgisch
Much of the information on Antwerp was gleaned from an April 2007
issue of Hadassah Magazine that was written by Esther Hecht. There
is a lot more interesting facts in the article.
The Gallo-Roman town of
has a very old
community, for traces of Jews were found in
as early as the 12th century.
However, this small community has other claims to glory. It
effectively has the first synagogue built in the
Kingdom of Belgium
to a Royal Decree of December 16, 1863)
and as such incarnates a major stage in the history of the
community’s relations with our country’s authorities. The
synagogue, designed by architect Albert Jamot, was inaugurated
on September 22, 1865, even though only 149 people of
faith were registered with the town’s authorities in 1865. This
figure nevertheless was close to 2% of the town’s population.
population came from northeastern
and were mainly horse traders and cattle merchants.
A monument has been placed in the new Jewish cemetery to the memory of
the Jews of Arlon who were deported and massacred by the Nazis.
a synagogue at Rue St. Jean.
Contact: Sec: J. C. Jacob rue des
Phone: 063 21 79 85
Should you ever plan on visiting Belgium, may I suggest you
consider this wonderful and delightful town. In all of our
travels, Shirley and I have never found a more tranquil setting as this
town displays. You will be able to see how people lived from the
14th and 15th centuries on as this town has preserved this delightful
atmosphere very carefully. Bruge is a canal-filled former capital
of West Flanders.
There are no modern buildings around.
Nothing has been remodeled to look like the 21st century. The town
looks the same today as it did in yesteryear. And if you are lucky, once
every four years, I believe, the town has a celebration and the
townspeople dress up like in the Renaissance days. We happened to visit
there when it happened and remember it now often as one of life's
wonderful travel experiences.
Once a sleepy village that grew up around a chapel on an island in the
Senne River, Brussels is now a thriving small capital city.
There is a
substantial and diverse Jewish community and the city is also the
seat of the Consistoire Central Israelite de Belgique, the
official representative body of Belgian Jewry that is composed of
representatives of both Orthodoxy and the secular Jewish organizations.
List of 100,000 names from Brussels
the names of Jews and others, deported from Belgium, including
some with their families. Many families lived in Brussels
since the 18th century. Names from Eastern Europe, as well as from
France, Germany and the Netherlands
Also there is a database containing documents, names and pictures from
Jews deported from Belgium on the site:
(site is in French and Dutch only)
The synagogue of the Communaute Israelite Liberale
de Belgique rue Josepah Dupont. It is the largest
synagogues in Belgium and is traditional Ashkenazim. Rabbi is
Albert Guigui. Email: 512 43.34 & 512 92 37 has about 400 families
The Central Synagogue
Established in 1878 and is next
door to the Royal Conservatory and near the Palais de Justice.
Behind its nondescript front, is a stunningly beautiful interior. The
congregation is 'traditional' and shares the synagogue with
Orthodox members who hold their own parallel services in a
shtibl on the second floor. There are about 1,300 families who
attend the High Holiday services.
Communaute Israelite Orthodoxe de Bruxelles
67a rue de la Clinique
Beth Ha'Midrash, a mikva'ot'oth and the Beth Din on
Much more general information about the Jewish community,
including the addresses and
phone numbers of the many synagogues and
Jewish organizations in Brussels can be found at
Jewish Community of Charleroi took shape after the 1918
armistice. It resulted mainly from the influx of Jews who fled
the inhospitable lands of Eastern Europe and were hired as miners in the
“Black Country’s” coal mines. After official recognition by the
Royal Decree of May 14, 1928, the community surged to stand at 600
families on the eve of World War II. Little by little the Jews
left the coal mines and turned to other trades. Charleroi’s Jewish
community grew considerably throughout this prewar period. This was
reflected by the development of synagogues, charitable organizations,
and socio cultural centers. However, the tragedy of the Holocaust
struck the community a fatal blow from which it recovered with great
difficulty, and at Belgium’s liberation the Jewish community
of Charleroi was a shadow of its former self. Hundreds of its
members had been deported and exterminated. Despite the adversity, the
community’s life was reorganized around a smaller number of members. It
would stand out for its organization of major festivities in the former
center in Rue de Bienfaisance and above all the building of a synagogue
that was launched in 1961. This synagogue, located in Rue
Pige-au-Croly, was designed by the architect Badet and consecrated on
February 24, 1963. The building became both a house of worship and a
Since 1928, a cemetery in
Montigny-Le-Tilleul (postal number 6110)
has existed. A database was made for the oldest cemetery; contact Daniel
Located in the Jewish section of the Marcinelle district
cemetery in Charleroi are two memorials, dedicated to the Jews
murdered in the Holocaust
and a Kehila at
56 rue Pige au Croly
Contact: Sec: M.
Weinberg 65 rue van der Velde, 6300 Marchiennes
Entrance to the Breendonck
internment camp. Breendonck, Belgium, 1940-1944. — YIVO
Institute for Jewish Research, New York
This is an abandoned army fortress that was used as a concentration camp
by the Nazis during the war. It primarily housed political
prisoners, including Jews who were active in the resistance and was a
notorious torture chamber site.
The site has been preserved intact and is today a national memorial.
It is one of the 22 camps that won the morbid honor of having its name
engraved on the floor of the memorial crypt at Yad Vashem in
A Jewish community didn't appear until the 18th
century, although not until the late 18th century, with the
French occupation, could one truly speak of a Jewish
community taking root in the town. A score of Jewish families
were living in Ghent in 1817, and they already had a synagogue.
This small community was given a plot of land for a cemetery in 1847.
While the Jewish community of Ghent was recognized
officiously by the young Belgian State’s authorities in 1834,
official recognition did not come about until 1876. It was granted by
the Royal Decree of February 7, 1876, as was the case for the main
Jewish communities of Antwerp and Brussels and the
smaller communities of Liège and Arlon. It is the
chief city of eastern Flanders, Belgium.
There are about 100 Jews currently living in Ghent
Located at St. Elizabethplein 11.
Contact is J. Bloch,
Telephone: 09 225 70 85
Keerbergen is a municipality located in the Belgian
province of Flemish Brabant. The municipality comprises only the
town of Keerbergen proper. On January 1, 2006 Keerbergen had a
total population of 12,444.
I received the following Email: - perhaps someone will be able to help
am writing a book about Keerbergen airfield. In 1943, Berthold
Linz and Fréderic Steiner, Jewish people who lived in Keerbergen, were
arrested by the Germans. I suppose that both men died in
concentration camps. Is there any website or database where I can
find the names of the Belgian-Jewish people who died in these German
camps ? Where can I find confirmation about the fate of these
people from Keerbergen? Nothing was
found in the local archives of Keerbergen. Many thanks for your help,
Frans Van Humbeek
Knokke-Het Zoute )
The seaside resort town of
lived up to its name of “Queen
most worthily in the 19th and
first half of the 20th century,
drawing large numbers of vacationers. These included
from across the Channel as well as a considerable number of
community. Starting in the 1950s, however, another
Knokke-Het Zoute (or “Le Zoute” in French),
gradually replaced Ensor’s birthplace as “the
place to be.”
which was more and more popular, became a real magnet for
Belgium’s Jewish community.
To be able to meet their religious obligations, the town’s
tourists improvised. However charming the little prayer rooms
that they set up might be, they eventually proved insufficient
to meet the needs of an increasingly numerous and influential
community. The need for a recognized, organized community with
a synagogue worthy of the name became obvious.
Jewish Community of Knokke
took shape after the usual lengthy procedures. The Royal Decree
granting this recognition was signed December 10, 1998. Since
then, the community has continued to fare well and functions all
year long, since its members do not need to wait for summer to
go to the coast. The invigorating air, magnificent beaches,
wonderful walks, Zwin ornithological reserve, and pleasant mood
of relaxation that characterize
attract more and more people on holidays, weekends, and even
every day of the year. Choosing to reside in
is no longer the exclusive privilege of a few wealthy families
in need of a seaside pick-me-up!
There is a kosher restaurant Steinmetz, Piers de Raveschootlaan 129
Synagogue and mikva'ot'oth
Located at Van
Koksijde aan zee
This is a kosher vacation camp for children, Damesweg 10 and is run by
Le Chateau de Dongelberg
The following 4 people who were hidden in an orphanage called Le
Chateau de Dongelberg in Belgium. I have some photos of the
children that lived there that I'm sure they would like to have.
SZENKLEWSKI, Nelly born Aug. 14, 1943 in Brussels
Elisabeth born March 13, 1937 in Antwerp
born September 24, 1942 in Borgerhaut
KRYGIER, Michele born
September 6, 1942 in Brussels
If you know any of these individuals or their families, please contact
me privately. Felicia P. Zieff
Association of Descendants of the Shoah - Illinois, Inc.
Searching Hidden Children from Le
Chateau de Dongelberg, Belgium
There was no organized
before the early 19th century.
annexation of the Episcopal principality then ensured the
presence and civil and political equality. The number of
families living in
is thus put at eight in 1808 and 220 in 1890. Most of them
originally came from
Dutch Limburg (50%), Prussia,
During this period the
answered to the
Jewish community of Maastricht,
which itself belonged to the
Consistory of Krefeld.
Various buildings served as places of worship. The Province of
Liège’s Almanach mentions
prayer halls in the following streets: Rue Souverain-Pont, Rue
de la Régence, and Rue Pierreuse. The City of
helped defray these venues’ rental costs starting in 1867.
Formal recognition of the
Jewish Community of Liège
came about in 1876 with the Royal Decree of February 7. In 1878
the community set up its headquarters in the Outre-Meuse
neighborhood, where the abandoned chapel of the former Saint
Julian’s Hospice, which had been turned into a grain market at
the time of the French Revolution, became a synagogue. The café
built on the site still bears the name “Café du Temple.“ The
current synagogue, which was designed in Neo-Tuscan style by the
architect Joseph Rémont, was inaugurated on August 18, 1899. It
is in Rue Léon Frédéricq, a stone’s throw away from the city’s
current Convention Center, and has been listed as a noteworthy
monument by the
The rare documents of the time that have survived, including a
guest book, show that the community consisted primarily of
Synagogue and Kehila
Located at rue Leon Fredericq 19.
The Community Centre and Entraide Juive (Jewish mutual help)
12 Quai Marcellis (also a shelter)
Musee Serge Kruglanski
19 rue Leon Fredericq
The Dossinkazerne is an army garrison that was used by the Nazis
as a transit camp for Jews to be sent to one of the death camps and is
currently being converted into a Deportation Museum.
transit camp established by the Nazis in Belgium,
between its two largest
communities, Antwerp and Brussels,
in October 1941 to concentrate
before transporting them to Eastern
An infrastructure was already in place and a railway line led
directly to the camp, which became an antechamber to death. The
camp was surrounded by local inhabitants. The first group of Belgium
arrested on July 22 and taken to
and then to
The first transport from
was on August 4, 1942, and arrived in
August 6. According to a list in the
archive, between August 4, 1942 and July 1944 there were 28
transports to the east with more than 25,257
some gypsies were transported in 1943 and 1944. All the inmates
of the camp had to wear identification badges. The badges
differed for the
in the camp. The various known symbols were: T = Transport-Juden (Jews
who would be sent to the east), Z =
citizens of the Allied countries or neutral countries,
E = Entscheidungsfalle,
borderline cases, whose identity required further investigation,
G = Gefaehrliche
Jews to be sent to punishment camps elsewhere). Jews
who were married to
were sent to
Members of the Committee for
Jewish Defense (CDJ)
which was in contact with the
resistance movement, and the
fighters' organization, penetrated into
a number of times in order to warn the inmates and try to
liberate them. The organized
sent in packages. The camp was finally
liberated by the Allies in September 1944; a few hundred
had managed to survive
Jewish Museum of Deportation and Resistance in Belgium
in Mechelen, Daniel Dratwa
or Bob Drilsma
Ms. Laurence Schram is the archivist and historian.
The museum has available many files including various Registers of
Jews, a Library of various genealogical periodicals, many records
and a photo archive of about 12,000 photos.
"Joods Museum van Deportatie en Verzet"
Located in Mechelen
and holds list of deported Jews. They are very helpful with
Joods Museum Van Deportatie en Verzet
Goswin de Stassartstraat
Phone: (015) 29 06 60
(015) 29 08 76
There is a small Jewish Community that hold regular services. It is near
to the Casteau the International Chapel of NATO AEs Supreme
Headquarters Allied Powers Europe. Information: Shape, 7010,
Some historians mention
— originally part of the Roman army’s rear-guard — as having
as early as the 4th Century CE. But written evidence only goes
back to the 13th century. (A
Hebrew tombstone has been found dating to 1255, street names
such as “rue des Juifs” have been recorded, and there is at
least one known expulsion order dating from that time.)
The community was devastated by the usual blood libels, mass
burnings, and forced conversions (one
of these “heroic” episodes, involving supposed torturing of the
Host in 1370, is “glorified” to this day in the stained glass
windows of Saint-Gudule Cathedral in Brussels).
settled in the port of
in the 16th century, and lived in semi-toleration until given
religious and civil rights at the end of the 18th century by the
emperor Joseph II’s “Edict
and then emancipated by
law. Upon independence in 1831, the newly established
parliamentary regime lost little time in recognizing
as an official religious denomination (together
with Catholicism, Protestantism, later Greek and Russian
Orthodox Christianity and Islam).
The influx of
East European Jewish
immigrants, and later refugees, swelled the
population to approximately 85,000-90,000 on the eve of WW II.
Many were able to flee before the German invasion of
in May 1940, but more than 25,000 perished in the Shoah.
Today, about 40,000
with the main centers in
the capital, and in
a leading European center of traditional orthodox Jewry.
There are scattered small
Knokke, Ostend, Ghent, Liege, Charleroi, Arlon, Waterloo,
Beth Loubavitch Athis-Mons
Athis-Mons, 91200 France
Jewish community of Ostend
is more or less tantamount to that of the
Jewish community of West Flanders.
Ostend (Oostende / Ostende)
was effectively the only place in this province where
organized their own genuine, recognized community prior to the
end of the 20th century,
with the exception of the recent developments in
There is no certainty as to the
presence in the
County of Flanders
in the Middle Ages, although
was on the trade route linking
in the 12th and
13thcenturies, and both these cities had
populations. The density of the steady stream of traders
and the Rhine Valley was, however, sufficient cause for
to pass through
from time to time. However, no tangible proof that a
community lived in this town has been found to date. Then came
periods, but once again without any traces of
It is possible that a certain number of Conversos or
as the humanist Luis Vives)
in the 16th and
but we still have no clear proof of this.
The history of the
The situation became a little clearer at the end of the
occupation, for as of 1781 Ezechiel de Jongh and Salomon Mendes
along with Henry Hendrik and Emmanuel Lyon of
to become citizens of the town. After the usual stalling, their
requests were granted.
remained murky: Some
were granted civic rights, but it is not known whether this was
done in the coastal town of
became independent, the 1831 constitution placed the
faith on equal footing with the other recognized faiths and the
Central Consistory became an official institution. The
Antwerp, Arlon, Ghent, Brussels,
were not long in getting official recognition. The fact that
was not included in this batch proves that the coastal town did
not yet have the necessary quorum. However,
which became known as “the
Queen of Beaches,”
ended up drawing a certain number of
in the course of the 19th
century. Precise figures are not known, but some
tombstones dating back to this period were discovered recently
and will doubtless fill in the gaps.
At the end of the 19th century
some 300 Jewish
families could be found in
during the summer season. This new situation prompted King
Leopold II to make an annex of a former royal palace available
to house a small synagogue. The king recognized the
Jewish Community of Ostend
a few years later, through the Royal Decree of June 5, 1904, by
which time some 100-150
resided permanently in the seaside town. In the summer, the
Jews in Ostend
could rise to as much as 1500-2000 due to the influx of
vacationers. The community was granted a permit to build a “real”
synagogue on December 10, 1910. Designed by the
architect Joseph De Langue, the synagogue of
was inaugurated officially on August 29, 1911. It is located on
the square Filip van Maastrichtplein and has continued to
operate to this day.
Services are held in July and August at the synagogue
Liliane Wulfowicz Parklaan
Roubaix is known as “l’Enfer du Nord” which translates to “The
Hell of the North.” That expression came from the soldiers who were
posted there during WW I. The rough farm tracks and cobbled lanes that
are used are what was left after the bombing in World War 1.
The Vecht family: parents Henrietta and Philip, children Rosette
and Romeo. Taken in
The English word "spa" comes from the Belgian town of the
same name. Spa is renowned for its healing hot springs.
There is a synagogue in the
Airport transit hall.
Archives - General State Archives - in Brussels
Lewis Baratz, in a posting to JewishGen of Feb 10, 1999, stated that "as
a Fulbright Scholar, Belgium has remarkable archives, probably second
only to the UK, and the documents are highly accessible."
In the Francophone community which is a bit less
likely to prioritize a foreign request - language reasons, primarily.
(City Archive of Antwerp, Belgium)
DIGITAL RONBEWERKINGE D
B N N NETHERLANDS AND BELGIË
Belgium Jewish History
Belgium and Dutch Jews
They were sometimes called Black Dutch in America because they spoke Dutch or Flemish and were darker than the other Dutch and Flemish. They had only recently moved to the Netherlands and Belgium (then Spanish Netherlands) from Iberia (Portugal and Spain). When Spain annexed Portugal for a while, many Portuguese Jews fled to Spanish Flanders to escape the Inquisition or Flanders as part of Spanish Netherlands).
Most, like the famous philosopher Baruch Spinoza, crossed into Protestant Netherlands for greater freedom of expression and religion. For more on Spinoza. These Sephardic Jews were, on the average, darker than the Ashkenazic Jews of northern Europe, so an explanation like Black Dutch suited them well.
Belgium and its Jews During the War
Created for the purpose of assisting the descendants of Belgian emigrants/immigrants living abroad in tracing their Belgian roots and exploring their Belgian heritage
Belgian Society for Jewish Genealogy
Genealogy and Family History
In the Benelux Jewish Museum of Belgium
On-line Archives in Flanders, Belgium
City Archives of Antwerp in Belgium
City Records of Mechelen in Belgium
Shoah Museum in Belgium - GeneaNet
Daniel Dratwa is the President and is also the Conservator of the Jewish Museum of Belgium.
Belgian Tourist Office
Jewish cultural organizations, synagogues, Shoah memorials, 24-hour radio station information
Central Jewish Welfare Organization
B-Antwerp 2018, Belgium
Digital Resources for Belgium
Contains a huge amount of resources including passenger lists
The Emigrants from Belgium to the United States and Canada
European Council of Jewish Communities
European Visual Archive (EVA)
The European Visual Archive is a searchable image resource containing historical photographs dating from 1840 up to today. The photographs originate from the collections of the London Metropolitan Archives and the Stadsarchief Antwerpen. Currently EVA contains 18.028 descriptions of digitized photographs. The site is available in English, French, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish.
This is a discussion group and there is a lot of information about Jewish genealogical research in France, French Colonies and French-speaking areas including Belgium, Luxembourg and Switzerland.
Has a list of names from the Brussels Archives. These lists are indexes for the dictionary of genealogy and biography and are important because immigrants to Brussels came from all over Europe including: France (Paris, Alsace, Lorraine), Netherlands, England, Germany, Eastern Europe, Turkey, North Africa and even America.
Index of Jewish Family Names and Family Search Indicators
Compiled by Claude C. Geudevert, is partially available at the GenAmi website
This is an index providing an alphabetical list of family names, along with the first location where an individual or family is known to have arrived from, or has proved to have lived prior to coming to Brussels.
Based on various sources, there are no Jewish cemeteries in Belgium. This information was also based on a Belgian Law that requires a cemetery to be dug up, or destroyed, after a period of 49 years. Most Belgian Jews were buried in Holland.
US Military Cemetery
Henri La Chapelle US Military Cemetery
Jewish Genealogical Society of Belgium
Daniel Dratwa, President
74 Avenue Stalingrad
B-1000 Bruxelles, Belgique
Phone: 32 2 512 19 63 Fax: 32 2 513 48 59
Jewish Museum of Belgium (Joods Museum van Belgie)
Genealogy and exhibition links and choose language of choice. The JMB has a card-index system of 65,000 Jews who lived in Belgium in November, 1940. The Museum has many other lists according to the web site.
Daniel Dratwa Email:
Jewish Secular Community Center
Jewish Social Services
List of family names up to 1900
Open Street Maps
The crowd-sourced mapping project OpenStreetMap has amassed a million contributors since its inception in 2005 and, according to navigation app maker Skobbler, boasts greater accuracy in England, Russia and Germany than rivals such as Google Maps. I tried the site and found an accurate drawing of my father's ancestral town Tal'ne, Ukraine. Almost every country is available as is most towns
Society for Jewish Genealogy in Belgium
"Yiddishe Tseitoung" was published in Antwerp and Brussels. Copies of the paper may be found at the Hebrew University in Cincinnati.
more to come ...
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