Current research

Jaap and Ischa Meijer: a Jewish history 1912-1956 / Ischa and Jaap Meijer: a Jewish history 1956-1995

This double biography about father and son links the personal and family history of two recalcitrant and creative Dutch Jews, and the break and continuity between two generations, with the collective history of Jews in the Netherlands in the 20th century.

Double biography Jaap and Ischa Meijer

Researcher: Prof. dr. Evelien Gans
Duration: 2007-2016
Intended publicaton: biography

More information

The first part, already published, focuses on the very varied life of Jaap Meijer, the wartime years, the Jewish reconstruction after the Liberation and his time in Suriname.

In part two, Jaap Meijer, with his wife Liesje Voet by his side, continues his dazzling historiographical production, becoming a poet, Saul van Messel, in the process. Ischa Meijer becomes a lauded author, journalist, interviewer and ‘phenomenon’ and, to his pleasure, his father is more and more often referred to as “the father of”.

The lives of both Jaap and Ischa, who died within two years of his parents, are in many respects related to the memories of the Shoah, to Israel and to the ambivalent feelings and controversies regarding the Jewish state, with new manifestations of antisemitism and sarcasm about a too strong emphasis on ‘the Jewish sorrow’.

They both made a mark on Jewish history and culture, each in their very own way. They remained creative and recalcitrant. They never reconciled with each other.