Tuesday 9 February 2016


MEIJER DE HOND (August 30, 1882-July 23, 1943)
            He was born in Amsterdam, Holland.  From 1904 he was a preacher at the synagogue study hall and at the Torah Or school.  He was a founder of the local Jewish youth organization Bezalel.  From 1904 to 1915, he edited the Hebrew-language monthly Levanon (Lebanon).  He was the author of a number of theatrical plays in Dutch on such themes as: Yom Kippur, Rabbi Akiva, King David, Holy Light, Passover Seder, and the like.  It is especially important to note his writings in Dutch Yiddish in Roman script, such as: Betsalel, Joodsche Geloofsleer voor jong-Israël (Betsalel, Jewish faith for young Israel) (Amsterdam, 1919), 85 pp., in which he wrote about “di sheping” (Genesis) “until the codex for service to God, the Shulḥan arukh”; the stories Een Yoodsch hart klopt aan Uwdener (A Jewish heart beats ceaselessly) (Amsterdam, 1911), 18 pp.; and Ghetto Kiekjes (Ghetto snapshots) (Amsterdam, 1926).  Concerning the last of these works, the Dutch Jewish critic Prins wrote that Hond “created a Dutch that only Jews would understand and a Yiddish that no one anywhere outside of Holland would understand.”  Van Praag wrote that Hond “created a specifically Amsterdam Yiddish that was as far from Dutch as authentic Yiddish is from German.”  He died at Sobibór.

Sources: Y. Shatski, “Di letste shprotsungen fun der yidisher shprakh in literatur in holand” (The last sprouts of the Yiddish language in the literature of Holland), Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 10.3-5 (1936), p. 236; Encyclopaedia Judaica (Berlin: Eschkol), vol. 3, p. 199; The Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. 5, p. 449.

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