13th Contact Day Jewish Studies on the Low Countries

Thursday 20 May 2021
Online via Zoom

The Institute of Jewish Studies organizes for the thirteenth time an interdisciplinary conference concerning Jewish Studies on the Low Countries. The purpose of the conference is to facilitate contacts between researchers working within this area of study. We especially encourage young researchers to participate in the workshop. We also hope for contributions from more established researchers, in order to create a positive exchange between different research generations. This year the contact day will be followed by an evening lecture (in Dutch) by Dr. Herman van Rens and Annelies Wilms on the deportation of Jewish men from Western Europe to forced labor camps in Silesia via Cosel station (1942-1945).

This 13th Contact Day will be held online.

Please confirm your attendance to the Contact Day and/or the evening lecture by e-mail to ijs@uantwerpen.be. You will then receive the weblink.


  • 14.00-14.10   Welcome by Vivian Liska (Institute of Jewish Studies, University of Antwerp), Karin Hofmeester (IISG/University of Antwerp) & Veerle Vanden Daelen (Kazerne Dossin/University of Antwerp)

  • 14.10-14.55   Panel 1: Jewish social mobility, economy and diamonds (Chair: Karin Hofmeester)
    • Sietske van der Veen (Huygens ING Institute)
      Upward social mobility strategies of Jewish Dutch in the Dutch Biography Portal (1880-1940)
    • Joris Kok (IISG)
      Social Mobility of Jewish Diamond Workers in Pre-war Amsterdam
    • Donald Weber (AMSAB ISG)
      A World of Diamond: Diamond Workers in Belgium, the Netherlands and France (1895-2000)

  • 14.55-15.25   Panel 2: Non-European Jews in Belgium, the Netherlands and beyond (Chair: Veerle Vanden Daelen)
    • Thomas Verbruggen (University of Antwerp)
      Non-European Jewish itinerant traders in Belgium and beyond (1880-1930)
    • Amal Ihkan (University of Antwerp)
      The identity of Moroccan Jews living in Belgium and The Netherlands

  • 15.25-15.35 Break

  • 15.35-16.00 Short book presentations (Chair: Jan Morrens)
    • Karin Hofmeester (ed.), Een Schitterende erfenis. 125 jaar nalatenschap van de Algemene Nederlandse Diamantbewerkersbond
    • Veerle Vanden Daelen, Kazerne Dossin. Holocaust en mensenrechten
    • Herman van Rens en Annelies Wilms, Joodse mannen uit West-Europa naar dwangarbeiderskampen in Silezië, 1942-1945
    • Jan Maes, De ster en het kruis. De Gereformeerde Jodenzending in Antwerpen en Brussel (1931 -1948)

  • 16.00-16.30   Panel 3 Manuscript production in the context of Empire (Chair: Veerle Vanden Daelen)
    • Dagmara Budzioch (Hebrew University, Jerusalem/T. Taube Department for Jewish Studies, University of Wroclaw)
      Selected issues of decorated Esther scrolls production in the 17th- and 18th-century Amsterdam
    • Juan Lorenzo Castro (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)
      Sephardim of Antwerp; financial connectors of the Hispanic Monarchy XVI-XVII centuries

  • 16.30-16.40 Break

  • 16.40-17.25   Panel 4: Life stories of Jews in Antwerp and Brussels during the Second World War (Chair: Karin Hofmeester)
    • Wolfgang Schellenbacher (Documentation Centre of the Austrian Resistance (DÖW), Vienna)
      Mapping Transnational Data on Austrian Refugees in Antwerp prior to Deportation
    • Dorien Styven (Kazerne Dossin)
      Left Behind in Antwerp: Jewish Families affected by the Forced Labour, 1942-1944
    • Jan Maes (Kazerne Dossin/ Stichting voor de Eigentijdse Herinnering)
      The German Greiferin Helga Zweig, alias Marion Dubois. The story of a Jewish Jew Hunter at work at the Brussels Sipo-SD

  • 17.25-17.30 Wrapping up (Karin Hofmeester & Veerle Vanden Daelen)

Participants to the Contact Day are kindly invited to the evening lecture (in Dutch):
Dr. Herman van Rens en Annelies Wilms
Tussenstation Cosel. Joodse mannen uit West-Europa naar dwangarbeiderskampen in Silezië, 1942-1945
Starting at 8 pm
Online via Zoom


Click here to download the abstracts of the 2021 Contact Day.