Maastricht

The first reports of Jews residing in Maastricht date to the thirteenth century. The city's Jewish community subsequently was destroyed during the first half of the fourteenth century following persecution of Jews throughout the region.

Prior to the introduction of full civil rights for the Jews of the Netherlands in 1796, the city fathers of Maastricht granted residence only to those Jews whose presence they felt would be economically advantageous. Jews not deemed important were compelled to reside outside of Maastricht in the nearby village of Eijsden. Nevertheless, by 1782, the number of Jews in Maastricht had risen to the point that the city's first public synagogue service was held in a private residence located on the Markt. With the arrival of Napoleonic rule in 1794 the Jewish community of Maastricht was granted official recognition. Jews also were given permission to hold religious services in a private residence located behind Maastricht's city hall, between the Hoenderstraat and the Koeslingestraat.

With the arrival of the nineteenth century, the Jewish population of Maastricht quickly grew almost ten-fold. By 1809, a larger place of worship was required and the community rented space for a new synagogue in a building on the Kleine Gracht. Most of the Jews in Maastricht lived in close proximity to this synagogue.

Prentbriefkaart van de Brusselsche straat in Maastricht met links vooraan boekhandel S. Levie, ca. 1931The Jews of Maastricht had close ties to Jewish communities across the nearby Dutch-German border. Under Napoleonic rule, the Maastricht community was placed under the aegis of the Jewish community of the German town of Krefeld. With the reorganization of the Jewish communities of the Netherlands during the 1820's, Maastricht was selected as the seat of the chief rabbi for the provinces of Limburg, Louvain and Luxemburg, and the city Brussels (the latter three being under Dutch rule at the time). Until 1860, troubled economic circumstances combined with the ultra-orthodox stance of the chief rabbinate led to a series of short incumbencies and frequent replacements of chief rabbis. This situation was addressed in 1861 by the adoption of a more modern charter for the community replacing its original charter which dated to 1816.

In 1839, work commenced on the construction of an imposing new synagogue complex in the Capucijnengang near the Bogaardenstraat. Construction of the complex was financed in part by donations from the city of Maastricht, the national government of the Netherlands, and the country's King, Willem I. The complex - consisting of the synagogue, a ritual bath, a sexton's residence, and new quarters for the community's school (originally founded in 1833) - was completed and consecrated in August, 1840.

In 1821, the Jewish community of Maastricht founded a cemetery along the Tongerseweg in the village of Wolder. Previously, the Jews of Maastricht buried their dead at the cemetery at the Maagdendries.

During the late nineteenth century, the infrastructure of Jewish life in Maastricht was officially headed by a community directorate and council. Voluntary organizations included an association for aid to the poor, a women's society for aid to needy expectant mothers, a society for assisting travelers, and a society for visiting the sick and organizing remembrance services for the dead. At the time, the majority of the Jews of Maastricht were involved in trade or the retail sector; many others were craftsmen or small manufacturers.

By the outset of the twentieth century, Jewish community membership in Maastricht and throughout the province of Limburg took a steep downward turn. Regardless, the Maastricht community remained substantial in size. Between 1900 and 1940, several new Jewish organizations were formed in Maastricht including a social club, a burial society, and a youth club. During the 1930's the community was strengthened by the arrival in Maastricht of Jewish refugees from Germany and Eastern Europe. Even as late as the outset of the German occupation of the Netherlands during the Second World War a new Zionist youth group was formed in Maastricht.

During the early stages of the German occupation, the Jews of Maastricht enjoyed the protection of the local police and a part of the general public. However, in September, 1941 Jewish children were expelled from public schools and a Jewish elementary school established. From June, 1942 through April, 1943 the majority of the Jews of Maastricht were apprehended, deported, and subsequently murdered. A number of Jews from the north of the Netherlands managed to find hiding places in the surroundings of Maastricht. One group of Jews that managed to flee from Maastricht across the border into Belgium was later betrayed and apprehended.

The Maastricht synagogue was vandalized during the occupation and used as a storage place. Its furnishings were heavily damaged but a portion of its ceremonial objects were saved. In 1965, it was discovered that the community's archives also had been saved.

Jewish life in Maastricht resumed following the war. The synagogue was rededicated in 1952. It was restored during the 1960's, and refurnished with furniture formerly belonging to the synagogue at Meerssen. In 1990, a plaque was unveiled in commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Maastricht synagogue. Maastricht's Jewish cemetery was restored by volunteers in 1996.  In October 2005 a plaque was unveiled on the Jewish cemetery in Maastricht, in remembrance of the 45 Jewish children who perished in the Second World War.

In 1986, the Jewish communities of Maastricht, Heerlen, and Roermond merged to form the regional community NIHS Limburg. Yaakov Shapiro has served as rabbi of the community since 2001.

Jewish population of Maastricht and surroundings: 

 

1782 8
1794 22
1809 207
1840 375
1869 429
1899 405
1930 247
1951 115
1998 members NIG Limburg: 61


Collectie en mediatheek

 Penning  1851
object, penning. maker, Wiener, Jaques. materiaal, brons. datering, 1851. plaats,
Nederland. hoogte, 0.4. diepte, ø 4.1. collectie, Joods Historisch Museum. ...
Collectie > Museumstukken > 00336

meer treffers in Collectie > Museumstukken

 Dossier  
Dossiers (158) van de Commissie voor Oorlogsschade mbt 155 joodse
gemeentes (Amsterdam en mediene), 1945-1950.
Collectie > Documenten > 00005954

meer treffers in Collectie > Documenten

 Portretfoto  1890-1900 ca.
Opperrabbijn Louis Landsberg, ca.1890-1900.
Collectie > Fotos > 40000112

meer treffers in Collectie > Fotos

 [Binnenlandse berichten (2)] : Haarlem  1868
De joodse gemeente te Haarlem maakt zich zorgen over het gerucht dat haar voorzanger
in Maastricht zou hebben gesolliciteerd. / Zangvereniging "Oefening en Genoegen ...
Collectie > Joodse pers > 20016036

meer treffers in Collectie > Joodse pers

 De synagoge van Maastricht en de synagogen elders in Limburg  1967
De synagoge van Maastricht en de synagogen elders in Limburg.
Collectie > Literatuur > 12003075

meer treffers in Collectie > Literatuur

 Ich glaub es ist Krieg  
Documentaire over Zuid-Limburg (Vaals, Heerlen en
Maastricht) tijdens de Tweede Wereldoorlog.
Collectie > Audiovisueel > 40000502

meer treffers in Collectie > Audiovisueel

jhm.nljhmkindermuseum.nlhollandscheschouwburg.nlportugesesynagoge.nletshaim.nljoodsmonument.nlmenassehbenisrael.nl