Wednesday, May 1, 2002


Ajax, de Joden, Nederland

4 And 5 May Memorial Committee: The German commander of The Netherlands capitulated to the Allied Forces on 5 May, 1945. 5 May is still celebrated as Liberation Day.

The day before, 4 May, is the national Memorial Day of The Netherlands, on which two minutes of silence are observed at 8pm, in memory of those who fell during World War Two.

Bar Mitzvah: a Jewish boy is offered the Bar Mitzvah ritual at the age of thirteen, the age at which he is officially obliged to fulfill the religious obligations of a grown-up Jew.

Bordjesclub: Ajax members automatically join the Ajax Bordjesclub (literally, 'Club Of Plates') at their 50th anniversary as an Ajax member. On the occasion, they receive an inscripted, ceramic Ajax plate.

El-Al: Israel's national airline company.

In the fall of 1992, an El-Al Cargo Boeing 747 got into trouble after take-off from Amsterdam Schiphol airport and crashed into two apartment blocks in the Amsterdam South-East suburb Bijlmermeer.

Many football yells in the following months were about the Bijlmer inferno.

Gestapo: In German, "Geheime Staatspolizei"; Hitler's secret police service.

gojse: goy; a Gentile, or non-Jewish person; usually, a Christian.

Hunger Winter: Allied Forces wanted to liberate the whole of The Netherlands before the 1944-1945 winter. The southern provinces were easily taken, but after the famous airborne attempt to conquer the Rhine bridges near Arnhem (September 1944) had failed miserably, the north and west parts of The Netherlands had to wait for their freedom for one more winter, in which it was hardly possible to organize decent food transportation to the major cities in the western provinces. Many inhabitants of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht died from starvation during the so-called 'hunger winter'.

keppel: head covering worn during prayers, Torah study, etc. Some followers will wear it constantly; also called Yamulkah, Capel, Kippah.

kibbutz: Israeli collective village based on socialist principles.

Knesset: the Israeli parliament.

menorah: a candelabra with seven or nine candles that is used in Jewish worship.

Meshuggah: Yiddish word for 'crazy person' or 'craziness'. Also, "meshugine" or "mishiga".

NSB: 'National Socialist Movement'; the Dutch Nazi political party, presided by the notorious Anton Mussert.

pogrom: a mob attack, either approved or condoned by authorities, against the persons and property of a religious, racial, or national minority. The term is usually applied to attacks on Jews in the Russian Empire in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pogroms have also occurred in other countries, notably in Poland and in Germany during the Hitler regime.

razzia: military raid.

Sinterklaas: 'Sinterklaas' or 'Saint Nicolas' is the Dutch equivalent of Santa Claus. This bishop used to give presents to children on his birthday, 5 December. 'Sinterklaas Eve' is still a national holiday for Dutch families.

SS: German Schutz Staffel (Security Staff)

W.A.: 'Weer Afdeling'; the armed, often violent wing of the Dutch Nazi political party NSB. Before the war they operated as as an illegal gang of ruffians. During the war they were enabled to become a secondary police force of collaborators, frequently assisting the Germans at arresting resistance people and hidden Jews.

YabYum: one of Amsterdam's most exclusive brothels and escort services.

Yom Kippur: Day of Atonement; fast day occurring on the tenth day after Rosh Hashannah.

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