Jewish Eindhoven

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Eindhoven is a municipality and a city located in the province of Noord-Brabant in the south of the Netherlands, originally at the confluence of the Dommel and Gender brooks. The Gender has been dammed off in the post-war years, but the Dommel still runs through it.

It was not allowed for Jews to settle in the city of Eindhoven until 1772, when stadtholder Willem V summoned the city council to open its doors for Jews. Not until 1796 however were Jews totally free to settle in Eindhoven - between 1772 and 1796 the city council succeeded in summoning numerous orders to make Jewish settlement in the city incredibly difficult. Because of the prohibition for Jews to settle within the city, nearby villages contained fairly large numbers of Jews. However, from 1796 onward, the Jewish presence in Eindhoven started to grow considerably. Most of the Jews were immigrants from Germany, specifically from Cologne, Krefeld and Bad Kreuznach. They were all Ashkenazi. A synagogue was put into use. After another period of growth after 1850, the city became the seat of the chief rabbinate for the province of Noord-Brabant.

Most of the Jews who settled in Eindhoven were butchers, cattle dealers, shopkeepers and hawkers. Later on, when the city started to industrialize, certain Jewish families played a significant role in the further development of the city, among them the Elias family.

In the 1930s, numbers of Jewish refugees, notably from Germany but also from Austria, Poland and Hungary, started...
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