September 11, 2008

Preserved interior of Jewish family home found

Filed under: Architecture,History,Religion by Orangemaster @ 9:44 am

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.


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