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Jewish Dutch or Dutch Jews?
A historical study of the assimilation of an ethnic-religious minority group

This research is a granted veni-research proposal by Netherlands organization for Scientific research (NWO dossiernummer 257-52-007). This project has started in december 2007. Dr. P. Tammes will carry out the project at the Leiden University, Research Institute of History, under supervision of prof. dr. L.A.C.J. Lucassen.

Why some Jews were completely assimilated and others not at all is the general question of this research. To measure the degree of assimilation we focus on Jewish-Gentile interaction as spouse, friend, colleague and neighbor. To expand on what we know we also study the extent to which Jews and non-Jews resembled one another in a social sense concerning family life, occupation, and migration. We will describe the last situation of assimilation of Jews, using registration lists of Jews made up in 1941 under the authority of the Nazi-occupier.

Much more can be derived from studying individual life courses; we will focus mainly on Jews living in Amsterdam. For this study the Historical Sample of the population of the Netherlands (HSN) will collect data for 660 Jews who lived in Amsterdam in 1941 and were born in this city between 1883-1922. The data-collection of the HSN contains data of 140 adult Jews belonging to the Dutch/Portuguese-Jewish congregations born in Amsterdam between 1883-1922. Together with an additional sample of 360 Jews who were registered in 1941, this group of 500 Jews will be the basic research-group. To ensure non-religious Jews, converts from Judaism and mixed married Jews are of the desired size additional sample are taken from the names mentioned on the rediscovered Amsterdam registration list. In total the research-group will be around 800 Jews.

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