Herzberg, Abel

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Herzberg, Abel Gender: M
Abel Jacob Herzberg
born on 17 September 1893 at 02:00 (= 02:00 AM )
Place Amsterdam, Netherlands, 52n22, 4e54
Timezone LST m4e53 (is standard time)
Data source
BC/BR in hand
Rodden Rating AA
Collector: Koppejan
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 24°22' s_mo.18.gif s_sagcol.18.gif 12°18 Asc.s_leocol.18.gif 15°47'

Abel Herzberg (ca 1913)


Dutch Jewish lawyer, historian and victim of the Holocaust, celebrated writer and poet.

Abel Herzberg was the son of Russian-Jewish parents, who emigrated from East to the West, because of pogroms. After the murder on Alexander II of Russia (1881), pogroms swept over the Russian Empire, as Jews were wrongly blamed for it. His mother, Hinde Rebekke Person, was born in Lithuania. She arrived, together with her parents and three brothers, in 1882 in Amsterdam, without any possessions. His father, Abraham Michael Herzberg (1865 - 1941), came from Priekule in latvia,

In 1918 the family became naturalized Dutch citizens. As a boy he became befriended with Jacob Israel de Haan. He studied law, became after his trial lawyer and attorney and like his friend De Haan, became a leading member of the Dutch Zionist Federation (Nederlandse Zionistenbond), being their chairman from 1934 till 1939.

On 20 February 1923, he married "Thea" Theodora Loeb (9 March 1897, Den Haag - 30 July 1991, Israel) in Den Haag. They got three children. The eldest two children (Abraham Michael, 1924 and Esther Elisabeth, 1926) immediately emigrated after WW2 to Palestine. His youngest daughter Judith Frieda Lina Herzberg (4 November 1934, Amsterdam) became a celebrated poet and playwright, who like her father won major Dutch literary prizes.

Abel Herzberg tried in vain to obtain a certificate for Palestine in 1939, but he did not succeed. During the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands (10 may 1940 – 5 May 1945), he and his family were arrested (March 1943) and imprisoned in a concentrationcamp in Barneveld, where around 700 "prominent" Dutch Jews were occupied. The so-called Plan-Frederiks (see Wiki) of October 1941 aimed to save a for the Dutch society necessary "important" rest of Jews from deportation. Among the listed (compare to Schindler's List and Friedrich Weinreb's fantasy) were Jewish artists but also Nazi sympathisers. Thea did not trust it and smuggled her children out of the camp to a nearby farm.

From September 1943 till January 1944, Thea and Abel stayed in Westerbork transit camp and middle January they were deported to Bergen-Belsen in Germany. April 1944, the Herzbergs heard that they belonged to a group of 174 Jews that could leave for Palestine in exchange for imprisoned Germans. This however, proved a fiction. Abel wrote a diary in Bergen-Belsen from 11 August 1944 to 26 April 1945. They were liberated by the Red Army, early May 1945. Upon their return to Amsterdam (30 June 1945), Herzberg took up law once again and also started writing bout the holocaust. His "Tweestromenland" (Mesopotamia, 1950) was translated as "Between two streams : a diary from Bergen-Belsen (1997)".

In 1950, he published his in Dutch written Chronicle of the Persecution of the Jews 1940-1945 (Kroniek der Jodenvervolging 1940-1945) as part of a series of volumes on the Netherlands at the time of the German occupation. It was the first historical account of the persecution of the Jews in the Netherlands during the Nazi occupation. As as a jurist and Jew, he spoke of six million murders on a Jew, instead of the killing of six millions Jews, which was in his eyes an abstract understatement. He was followed by the more Dutch-Jewish historians like Jacques Presser and Lou de Jong.

Although he remained a Zionist after the war, he could not make Israel his permanent home. Still, he stayed abreast of developments in the Middle East and often spoke out in defence of the young nation under fire. But in the 1970s, he became increasingly critical of Israeli politics. He became a celebrated writer in non-Jewish circles, but was considered a controversial outsider by the Jewish community.

In 1998 the journalist Arie Kuiper (28 February 1934, Haarlem - 2011) wrote his biography: "Een wijze ging voorbij - het leven van Abel J. Herzberg" (A wise man passed - the life of Abel J. Herzberg).

He died 19 May 1989 in Amsterdam.

Link to Dutch Wikipedia


  • associate relationship with Jong, Loe de (born 24 April 1914). Notes: Both Jewish historians, describing/interpreting the Holocaust as it occured to them
  • (has as) worker relationship with Meijer, Josine (born 16 December 1896)


  • Other Family 10 November 1892 in Amsterdam (Eldest sister, the voice actress Elisabeth Sanders-Herzberg born (d. 25 June 1892, Amersfoord))
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Other Family 19 March 1896 at 10:00 AM in Amsterdam (Sister Frieda Tas-Herzberg, soprano (before WW2) and fine art artist born)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Relationship : Marriage 20 February 1923 in Den Haag (Thea Loeb)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Death of Father 3 February 1941 (Abraham Michael Herzberg, born 6 May 1865 in Schoden)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Social : Institutionalized - prison, hospital March 1943 in Barneveld
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Begin Major Project 11 August 1944 in Bergen-Belsen camp (Between two streams : a diary from Bergen-Belsen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : End Major Project 26 April 1945 in Bergen-Belsen camp (Between two streams : a diary from Bergen-Belsen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released November 1946 (Amor Fati, about his exeriences in Bergen-Belsen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released November 1946 (Amor Fati, about his exeriences in Bergen-Belsen)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1950 (Kroniek der jodenvervolging 1940-1945)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1950 (Tweestromenland, Bergen Belsen diary)
  • Death of Sibling 29 November 1970 in Amsterdam (Frieda Tas-Herzberg)
    chart Placidus Equal_H.

Source Notes

Koppejan quotes Municipal Archive of Amsterdam for 2h00 AM in Beeldgids van de dierenriem.

Abel J. Herzberg · dbnl

Conny Kristel: Geschiedschrijving als opdracht.

Abel J. Herzberg. Amor fati


  • Traits : Personality : Pessimist (Nickname "Schmerzberg")
  • Vocation : Humanities+Social Sciences : Historian (Kroniek der jodenvervolging 1940-1945)
  • Vocation : Law : Jurist (lawyer and attorney)
  • Vocation : Religion : Other Religion
  • Vocation : Writers : Autobiographer (Amor fati, Tweestromenland)
  • Vocation : Writers : Religion/ Philosophy (Essayist on purpose of life)
  • Vocation : Writers : Playwright/ script