Kriterion ~ Amsterdam

Kriterion ~ Amsterdam
A cinema steeped in history … ‘Kriterion’ began life as an Amsterdam student association involved in hiding and saving many Jews (an estimated 400 jewish children (Ref. 2) from Nazi persecution – next in 1945 the students opened cinema Kriterion (Ref. 3) in the former building (until 1942) of the ‘Handwerkers Vriendenkring’ association of mainly Jewish diamond workers – and 75 year later in Kriterion – still runned by the Amsterdam students – last night – arthouse cinema : screening of Beyond Index and post-screening Q&A with filmmaker Gerald Van Der Kaap.

Ref. 1 –
Ref. 2 –
Ref. 3 – Amsterdam Students Run Movie House. In : Higher Education – SemiMonthly publication of the higher education division – United States Office of Education, Fedural Security Agency. Vol. III, No. 7 , Washigton, D.C. December 1, 1946; Page 10 .

Film : 20200123 Michel van der Burg |

Amsterdam’s Choir of the Great Synagogue 1935

November 1935, on the occasion of the 300th anniversary of the NIHS Jewish Community of Amsterdam (orthodox Ashkenazi congregation started 1635) the dutch film factory Polygoon brought this unique cinema sound newsreel of the Amsterdam Choir of the Great Synagogue led by choirmaster Samuel Henri (Sam) Englander, with a solo perfomance by chazzan (cantor) Izrael Eljasz Maroko in the Great Synagogue (inauguration building 1671) – now home to the Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam, Holland (Ref 1).

As the Amsterdamsche Joodsche Koor (Amsterdam Jewish Choir), the choir also performed in non-religious venues, including the Amsterdam Concertgebouw (Ref 2). The choir’s repertoire was expanded to include what were referred to as Eastern European Jewish folksongs and modern Palestinian-Jewish songs (i.e., contemporary Hebrew songs).
The Choir of the Great Synagogue and Amsterdam Jewish Choir was composed of the following singers (those marked with an asterisk sang during synagogue services):

Giacomo Aletrino (tenor)
Marcus Bonn (bass)
Joop Delcanho* (tenor)
David Duque (bass)
Michel Gobets (tenor)
Nathan Gobets Sr.* (tenor)
Barend Levie Muller* (bass)
Meijer Nebig* (baritone)
Lou Nieweg* (tenor)
David Peeper* (baritone)
Louis Polak (bass)
Jo Rabbie* (baritone)
Sal Stodel (baritone)
Bernard de Wit (bass)
Louis de Wit* (bass)
Of all of them, only Lou Nieweg is known to have survived the Second World War.

NL (dutch)

November 1935, ter gelegenheid van het 300-jarig bestaan van de NIHS Joodse Gemeenschap van Amsterdam (de Asjkenazische gemeente Amsterdam of ‘Nederlands Israëlitische Hoofd Synagoge’) kwam het Polygoon bioscoopjournaal met deze unieke geluidsfilm van het Amsterdams Koor der Grote Synagoge onder leiding van koordirigent Samuel Henri (Sam) Englander, met een solo van oppervoorzanger Izrael Eljasz Maroko in de Grote Synagoge in Amsterdam (inwijding gebouw 1671) – nu het Joods Historisch Museum (Ref 1).

Het koor trad ook op als het Amsterdamsche Joodsche Koor op niet-religieuze locaties, waaronder het Amsterdamse Concertgebouw (Ref 2). Het uitgebreide repertoire van het koor omvatte ook zogenaamde Oost-Europese Joodse volksliederen en moderne Palestijnse-Joodse liederen (d.w.z. hedendaagse Hebreeuwse liederen).
Het Koor der Grote Synagoge en het Amsterdam Joods Koor bestond uit de volgende zangers (die met een asterisk gemarkeerd, zongen tijdens synagoge-diensten):

Giacomo Aletrino (tenor)
Marcus Bonn (bas)
Joop Delcanho * (tenor)
David Duque (bas)
Michel Gobets (tenor)
Nathan Gobets Sr. * (tenor)
Barend Levie Muller * (bas)
Meijer Nebig * (bariton)
Lou Nieweg * (tenor)
David Peeper * (bariton)
Louis Polak (bas)
Jo Rabbie * (bariton)
Sal Stodel (bariton)
Bernard de Wit (bas)
Louis de Wit * (bas)
Alleen van Lou Nieweg is bekend dat hij de Tweede Wereldoorlog heeft overleefd.


1. De Eerste Zichtbare Synagoge Van West-Europa. Amsterdam (Netherlands) : Joods Historisch Museum | ; (accessed 2019 Aug 30). Link URL:
2. Anton Kras. The Choir of the Great Synagogue, Amsterdam, Holland. Tel Aviv (Israel) : Museum of the Jewish People at Beit Hatfutsot | ; (accessed 2019 Aug 30). Link URL:

Credit / Source info :
Source: Polygoon-Profilti courtesy of Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Public Domain – Open Images).
Amsterdam’s Choir of the Great Synagogue 1935 (20190830) Michel van der Burg | – CC BY 4.0 .

Breaking News – Polygoon sound film David Hamburger 1931

Like in Hollywood , the Jewish Dutch are prominent in the Dutch film world before World War II – during the interbellum.
The three top players in the Dutch film industry also share that Jewish background – Abraham Tuschinski (Ref. 1, 2), Loet C. Barnstijn (Ref. 3) and David Hamburger Jr.

Here a speech by David Hamburger jr., chairman of the Nederlandsche Bioscoopbond (NBB) (Dutch Union of Cinema Proprietors), a film published May 17, 1931 (commissioned by Polygoon / courtesy of Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision – Open Images) on the upcoming Polygoon cinema newsreels with sound that will soon replace the silent newsreels of Polygoons Hollands Nieuws (Dutch News).


1. Michel van der Burg. 2017 Jul 24. Turn .. “Draaien” .. Filmland 1934. Netherlands : Michel van der Burg | ; (accessed 2019 Aug 26). Short-link URL:
2. Michel van der Burg. 2017 Nov 25. Lon’s World Premiere. Netherlands : Michel van der Burg | ; (accessed 2019 Aug 26). Short-link URL:
3. Michel van der Burg. 2019 Aug 24. Hollywood in Holland – Barnstijn’s FILMSTAD Opening 1935. Netherlands : Michel van der Burg | ; (accessed 2019 Aug 26). Short-link URL:

① memo 20190826 ~ Breaking News – Polygoon sound film David Hamburger 1931

Nobody No Longer Nobody – ID Card Propaganda 1940

Cinema propaganda newsreel (Polygoon) September 1940 on a rush for portrait photos needed for the ‘Persoonsbewijs’ , the ID card.
After the German invasion in 1940 the Dutch aged 15 and older were required to carry identity cards (called ‘persoonsbewijs’). This later led to the death of many people.

Polygoons Hollands Nieuws newsreel courtesy of Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Open Images).

① memo 20190825 ~ Nobody No Longer Nobody – ID Card Propaganda 1940

Hollywood in Holland – Barnstijn’s FILMSTAD Opening 1935

Film City “Filmstad Wassenaar” – his film studio complex in Wassenaar near The Hague – is opened in 1935 by the dutch jewish cinema operator , film distributor and producer Loet C. Barnstijn (born in 1880 as Lodewijk Cohen) starting you might say a Hollywood in Holland. After first working in textiles, he sold his business to start in the film business as a cinema operator. He was a film distributor , an inventor with Philips of a synchronized sound system using records .. the Loetafoon, and introduced the sound film in Holland in the early 1930s. During the war Filmstad was confiscated, and became UFA Filmstadt Den Haag. The allies bombed the complex in 1944. After the war Barnstijn lived in the USA were he died in 1953.
Cinema newsreel, October 1935, from Polygoon courtesy of Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Open Images).

Sound (speeches) starts after arrival of the guests at 3 min 20 sec.

Yesterday I posted on his first production the artistic documentary “Sjabbos“.

① memo 20190824 ~ Hollywood in Holland – Barnstijn’s FILMSTAD


Film link :

Sjabbos | Friday Night (1932) avant garde film documentary made by dutch filmmaker Jan Teunissen (G.J. Teunissen) on the Amsterdam Jewish Quarter when sabbath starts.
It’s the first film presented by the dutch jewish film producer Loet C. Barnstijn – and as and artistic documentary , different from his later films. Sound by Polygoon Haarlem and Tobis-Klangfilm, Studios Éclair Paris-Èpinay-sur-Seine.

Pre-war Amsterdam’s Jewish quarter at the start of the shabbat: street life with shops and market, the Zuidertoren tower strikes 4 o’clock and the sabbath starts. The shops are closing, businesses are being shut down, employees are rushing home.
While the women at home put the finishing touches to the meal, carefully set the table and light the candles, the men hurry to the synagogue. Chazan Blanes enters the Snoge (Portuguese Synagogue) through the side gate, cantor Maroko greets the shabbat in the Grote Synagoge (Great Synagogue).

Jan Teunissen joined the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands in 1940, benefactor member of the dutch SS in 1941 and head of the Filmgilde – the film section of the dutch ‘Kultuurkamer’ – the NS propaganda organisation in Holland during WW2.
Fragments of this film where used in 1941 in the dutch version of the Nazi antisemitic propaganda film “The eternal Jew”.
After the war Jan Teunissen was detained 3 years and subsequently prohibited from working in the Dutch film industry for ten years.


Mokum Market ~ Amsterdam Jewish Quarter 1931 (update)

① memo 20190815 ~ Mokum Market ~ Amsterdam Jewish Quarter 1931 ~ New version of yesterday’s (20190814) film – slowed to 75%*. Sunday outdoor market in the ‘Nieuwe Uylenburgerstraat’ street in the Jewish quarter of Amsterdam (Mokum). Dutch Polygoon cinema newsreel 25 January 1931. The market on the Uilenburgerstraat specialized in second-hand goods fish, and other food products, including the ever-popular ‘Jewish pickles’. The Depression in the 1930s led to unemployment in many trades, including the diamond industry, where many Jews had worked. As a consequence, the number of market vendors and peddlers increased in the 1930s. In September 1941 the Nazis prohibited Jews from trading at public markets. Special markets where only Jews were allowed to trade opened nearby. Very few Jewish market and street vendors survived the war. The Uilenburgerstraat market never reopened (info source ). Footage thanks to Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (Open Images).

* Note – Yesterday’s film (Mokum Market version 20190814) seems sped up – probably because of a wrong play speed when scanned for digitalisation). Thus , I post this new version today, sloweddown to 75% speed at play back – based subjectively on how motion of people looks , and based on other writings that silent films are often distributed with instructions for the projectionist to be run at 18fps , rather then the modern 24 frames per second – thus requiring a 18/24 = 75% fps.