Recognize these faces? A Dutch research team is asking Canadians to help identify its country’s lost Jews

A Hanukkah celebration at the Westerbork transit camp in the Northeastern Netherlands. (Photo courtesy of the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies)

Eighty years ago this month, in May 1942, the Nazis began forcing all Jewish people in the Netherlands to wear a yellow star on their clothes to publicly identify themselves. This would lead to mass deportations and deaths, eliminating about 75 per cent of the Dutch Jewish population.

Now, Dutch researchers are trying to identify those persecuted Jews—and find out what happened to them. This year, the Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies launched a project called “Behind the Star”. They’ve published hundreds of black and white wartime photos of Jews wearing yellow stars, and are hoping to crowdsource the subjects’ identities.

Because Canada has such a large population of Dutch Jewish survivors and their descendents, the researchers are hoping Canadians can help look through the photos and put names to the faces, creating a fuller picture what happened to the Netherlands’ Jewish community. They join The CJN Daily to explain the effort.

What we talked about:


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