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Jewish refugees

Prayers for the Jews

The reports about the persecution of the Jews in Europe make a deep impression. There are Jews in Surinam and on the Antilles and Aruba, too. In the synagogues, but also in all churches, temples and mosques, prayers are said for the Jews. The population is willing to take in Jewish refugees. But the governors disagree.

The Jewish syngoge in Paramaribo.

Jews of an enemy country

In June 1940, governor Wouters refuses access to Jewish refugees from Austria who arrive in the port of Curaçao by ship. They are allowed entry only after pressure from the minister for Colonies. But because they are citizens of an enemy country they are detained on Bonaire. They are given a little more freedom of movement only in 1942 after repeated requests from the Jewish aid committee (Joods Hulp Comité).

Surinam willing to accept Jewish refugees

At the request from this committee and the government in London, Surinam declares itself willing to accept Jewish refugees from the Netherlands. Around 200 Dutch Jews arrive in Surinam via Portugal and Jamaica. They are given their own neighbourhood on the outskirts of Paramaribo.

Prince Bernhard in the synagoge, 1942.


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