The Dutch population is a melting pot of people with many backgrounds. On various moments in history new groups came into this country and stayed here. They integrated and enriched the Dutch culture.
They found a new home in The Netherlands. At first there were some restrictions ( they were not admitted to the guilds and therefore most of the occupations were not allowed for Jews), but later on there was a legal equality and the Jewish population emancipated.
Religion often was a reason to flee to The Netherlands, as there was freedom of religion in a early stage. Because of this reason Huegenots came to the Netherlands, but the Jews as well. If Holland really was a safe-haven for people with different opinions and believes, or that economic motives played a part in accepting those newcomers, is not totally clear.
A part of the sefardic Jewish population, often with good en valuable economic connections in Spain and Portugal, found a place within the higher social class.
Ghetto’s where the Jewish population was separated from the non-Jewish population, did not excist in The Netherlands. A great part of the Jewish population however was very poor and concentrated in the poorer parts of the city (i.g. around the Waterlooplein).
From the end on the 16th century the Jews fled to The Netherlands. The sefardic (Spanish/Portuguese) Jews left their country because of religion (they had to convert to christianity), the askenazic (east-European) Jews fled because of religion, but also the pogroms and the poor economic situation in which they had to live were a reason to leave Eastern Europe.
The 2nd World War clearly altered history. The murder on a big part of the Jewish population, over 90%, had a huge influence, the discrimination during the German occupation still has its echo. This part of the website is about this history.