Artis Schouwburg (Artis Theatre)

The Artis Schouwburg was established in 1892 from the legacy of G.F. Westerman (1807-1890), co-founder and director of Artis. The theatre soon went bankrupt. A new owner changed the name to Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch theatre), because most of the performances would concern productions of Dutch origin. It became a huge success. Playwright Herman Heijermans (1864-1925) held the opening performances of his productions here.

 

Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch Theatre) on the Plantage Middenlaan. Photo: City Archive Amsterdam

Joodse Schouwburg (Jewish Theatre)

Jews were prohibited to frequent theatres during the German occupation. An exception concerned this location, called the Joodsche Schouwburg at the time and specially intended for Jews. Jewish actors and musicians who were no longer allowed to perform elsewhere gave high-quality performances for an audience of Jews only.

 

Print of Artis Schouwburg from 1892; renamed Hollandsche Schouwburg in 1894. Photo: City Archive

Assembly point

Jews were prohibited to frequent theatres during the German occupation. An exception concerned this location, called the Joodsche Schouwburg at the time and specially intended for Jews. Jewish actors and musicians who were no longer allowed to perform elsewhere gave high-quality performances for an audience of Jews only.

 

Memorial with eternal flame and names of Jews who perished. Collection Joods Historisch Museum

Memorial

The theatre was transformed into a memorial in 1962 based on the design by the Jewish architect L.H.P. Waterman. An open inner court was created where the former theatre hall and the stage used to be. An obelisk is erected on a pedestal in the form of a Star of David. A wall of names was set up in the front hall in 1993It states all 6,700 family names of the Jews who were deported from the Netherlands and murdered. The memorial is open daily; the first floor accommodates a small exhibition.