Three Jewish hospitals
Amsterdam had three large Jewish hospitals before the war. The Dutch Jewish Hospital, established here by the canal in 1833, was the oldest. The other two were the Portuguese Jewish Hospital on Henri Polaklaan and, for the more affluent, the Central Jewish Hospital on J. Obrechtstraat.
Dutch Israelite Hospital & Rosenthal-May nurse's dorm, ca 1935 (collection Joods Historisch Museum).
Nurses in the attic
The NIZ was relocated to an completely new building (architect: Isaac Gosschalk) in 1885. However, the design gave insufficient consideration to the resident nursing staff and the nurses’ sleeping quarters were beneath the roof in the attic. Finding a satisfactory solution for the staff was a key aspect when the hospital was extended in 1914.
The nurses working at the Dutch Israelite Hospital, circa 1935.
The construction of the Nurses’ Residence was made possible thanks in part to a financial contribution from Sophia Rosenthal-May (1838-1921), who supported various projects within the Jewish community. She was the widow of banker George Rosenthal (1828-1909), who co-founded Lippmann, Rosenthal & Co. Bank. Architect Harry Elte (1880-1944) created a comfortable residence with a dining hall, kitchen and reading and study rooms on the ground floor. There were living rooms and bedrooms on the first and second floor and dormitories on third and fourth floors.
The name still appears in two mosaics on the façade. Photo: Roeland Koning.
Most of the Jewish patients and nursing staff were deported and killed during the war. The hospital lost its function after the war ended and eventually it was demolished to make way for housing. Only the Nurses’ Residence still remains.