Preserved interior of Jewish family home found



Researchers have found a house in Amsterdam-Zuid on the J.J. Viottastraat that has an almost intact 1940s interior which used to belong to a Jewish family. The living room, the most important and usually biggest room of Dutch houses, is apparently more authentic than the Anne Frank House. Alexander Westra, university teacher of heritage studies at the Universiteit van Amsterdam, confirmed this yesterday.

Westra stumbled upon this unique find last year when he was working on a project on historic interiors in the capital. The family of Jewish banker Lodewijk Korijn left the home in 1942 when they were carted off to concentration camps. And since then, the interior has barely been touched.

Westra believes that the home should be protected heritage. After the war, the house was used by theology students. The living room was their common room. In the vestibule there is still an original dresser integrated to the wainscoting on the wall. Even the lighting from that era still works, which is rare, says Westra. The backroom also features a few original details even though a fire raged through it once. The interior was made in Amsterdam school style.


Update 11:30, by Branko: Alexander Westra, the scientist who made the discovery, sent us some photos he took from the interior. You will find them below the fold. Thanks, Alexander! According to him, the statues of saints and the crucifix were put there by later residents.


  1. That’s fantastic. I hope it’s designated as a protected heritage.

    Comment by Darth Paul — September 11, 2008 @ 10:46 pm

  2. Hey Branko, thanks indeed for this good news. I’ve always been fascinated by Amsterdam School, but have never seen many interiors of the houses in that style. Are there any photo books showing interiors? Are the yuppie-types who ‘gentrify’ the neighborhoods actually saving the interiors in their pristine condition?

    Comment by Jay Vos — September 15, 2008 @ 3:41 pm

  3. Jay, I honestly don’t know.

    Comment by Branko on the road — September 16, 2008 @ 10:26 am

  4. I can tell you this though: although this particular house look fairly unassuming from the outside, it’s in one of the richer neighbourhoods of the city. No yuppies there.

    Comment by Branko on the road — September 16, 2008 @ 11:16 am

  5. […] School, focus for this architectural movement usually lies on exteriors. To answer a question asked earlier by one our readers, Jay Vos, the spokesperson knew of no books that focussed solely on Amsterdamse […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Recently discovered Jewish interior will not be wrecked for now — September 19, 2008 @ 5:33 pm

  6. […] Jewish WWII interior discovered (follow-up), you saw the photos here first […]

    Pingback by 24 oranges » Branko’s favourite 24 Oranges postings of 2008 — December 29, 2008 @ 10:40 am

  7. I’d love to turn this place into a museum or actually live in it the way people did before and during the war.

    Comment by Jo — March 13, 2009 @ 1:43 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.