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Rabbi Lody van de Kamp : Jews were deeply involved in slave trade


Dutch rabbi : Jews were deeply involved in slave trade


In Dutch Guyana, 40 Jewish-owned plantations were home to at least 5,000 slaves


An outspoken Dutch rabbi is about to publish a book reminding Dutch Jews of their ancestors’ deep involvement in the slave trade.


“Money was earned by Jewish communities in South America, partly through slavery, and went to Holland, where Jewish bankers handled it,” Rabbi Lody van de Kamp told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. “Non-Jews were also complicit, but so were we. I feel partly complicit.”


Van de Kamp, 65, is among the best-known Orthodox rabbis in the Netherlands, being the author of several books on Dutch Jewry and making frequent media appearances.


His forthcoming book, a historical novel entitled “The Jewish Slave,” follows an 18th-century Jewish merchant and his black slave as they investigate Dutch-owned plantations north of Brazil in the hope of persuading Jews to divest from the slave trade. In researching the book, van de Kamp discovered data that shocked him.


According to the JTA report, published Tuesday by The Times of Israel, in one area of what used to be Dutch Guyana, 40 Jewish-owned plantations were home to a total population of at least 5,000 slaves, he says. Known as the Jodensavanne, or Jewish Savannah, the area had a Jewish community of several hundred before its destruction in a slave uprising in 1832. Nearly all of them immigrated to Holland, bringing their accumulated wealth with them.


At one point, Jews controlled about 17 percent of the Caribbean trade in Dutch colonies


On the Caribbean island of Curacao, Dutch Jews may have accounted for the resale of at least 15,000 slaves landed by Dutch transatlantic traders, according to Seymour Drescher, a historian at the University of Pittsburgh. At one point, Jews controlled about 17 percent of the Caribbean trade in Dutch colonies, Drescher told JTA.


Jews were so influential in those colonies that slave auctions scheduled to take place on Jewish holidays often were postponed, according to Marc Lee Raphael, a professor of Judaic studies at the College of William & Mary.


 


In the United States, the Jewish role in the slave trade has been a matter of scholarly debate for nearly two decades, prompted in part by efforts to refute the Nation of Islam’s claim that Jews dominated the Atlantic slave trade. But in Holland, the issue of Jewish complicity is rarely discussed.


http://www.i24news.tv/en/news/international/europe/131231-dutch-rabbi-jews-were-deeply-involved-in-slave-trade

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