Tag Archives: jews

An introduction to the alien/immigrants files at the FelixArchief (Antwerp Archives)

Microfilms at the FelixArchief

Many of the Jews citizens living in Antwerp around the turn of the 20th century were immigrants. In addition, while it is impossible to arrive at precise statistics, of the 65-75,000 Jews living in Belgium on the eve of World War II, at least 85 percent had arrived in the country after 1918. It is for that reason that I want to focus in this article on the alien files which probably are the most interesting for people who have had Jewish relatives in Antwerp. I hope to write in the future about other collections held by the Antwerp Archives.

How and by whom were the files assembled?
All new immigrants (except for the immigrants who are in certain privileged categories) who wanted to stay in Belgium, did have to contact the municipality of the place where they resided in.

The city council was in charge of some tasks imposed on them by the Belgian government such as:

Some of my family members in Cuba during WWII

I mentioned in another article the fact that Belgian Jews exiled to Cuba during WWII. My relatives also stayed in Cuba. Many of the Jews who lived in Cuba during the War, were Belgian refugees. For more on this topic you may read Jews from Antwerp in Cuba.

Cuba and some of my relatives:
I found in the book “Jewish Community of Cuba – The Golden Years 1906-1958” by Mr. Jay Levinson (ISBN 78-0977620708) a paragraph on page 133 with a reference to the copy of La Voz de Betar:

“Not all the Belgian Jews, however, confined all of their activity to their own closely-knit society. J. Dorf lectured to Betar on Jewish History; Ringler spoke to the meeting of Betar about geography of the Holy Land.”

I found in that copy of La Voz de Betar (Cuba) which appeared in September 1944 (this file is known at the Jabotinsky Institute archives as file 3/239 bet), some names of people belonging to the Dorf family (my great-grandmother Liebe Dorf was married to my great-grandfather Gerschon Lehrer):

The source of the song En Den Dino

“La Queue Leu Leu” , sheet music with illustration from a French children’s book Vieilles Chansons pour les Petits Enfants: Avec Accompagnements

This was first published on my blog on November 10th, 2009 (12:43:01). I am reposting it now with some minor changes:
I did first send an e-mail on March 1st, 2009 to the jewishgen newsgroup (soc.genealogy.jewish) in which I asked if someone knows more about the song “En Den Dino” (with spelling mistakes removed):

From: gershon.lehrer@gmail.com (lehrer)
Newsgroups: soc.genealogy.jewish
Subject: Children’s song: “En den dino”
Date: 1 Mar 2009 13:55:30 -0800

Dear all,

This is more a historical question then a genealogy related question:

My daughter of 3 came from her preschool with the following song:

“En den dino / sof al hakatino / Elik Belik Bom / Shabat Shalom / Un deux trois et vous êtes pas!”

I remember myself singing this song as a kid. Kids sing this when they want to decide which kid will have its first turn when playing a game.

I also remember once seeing a documentary about rhymes from preschoolers. Quite often such rhymes appear to be very old with sources that go back till the middle ages.

As this song sounds Spanish or Portuguese (except for the French part which obviously was added later), I am wondering whether this song’s source can be from the Inquisition’s times?

Best Regards,

Gershon Lehrer
Antwerp, Belgium

I’ve received many replies to my question and have compiled an overview of what I managed to learn about this song.

What it is:
Most of the Continue reading The source of the song En Den Dino

Immigration files in Archives of Antwerp & State Archives of Belgium

In the courtyard of the Felixpakhuis complex

I posted a few times in a few newsgroups/forums with as subject Jewish Genealogy a short explanation on the files in the Belgian archives.
I hope to publish once an article on my blog with more details about my experience in the archives, for the moment being I think it could be useful for other researchers to read the following short explanation according to my view:

Hi,
Usually all documents were kept in twofold. One copy stayed in the city/town and the other copy went to the state archives in Brussels.
In Antwerp you have a few boroughs which have separate administrations and were independent cities/towns . Nowadays these cities/towns are part of Antwerp, the most interesting boroughs for Jews researching their ancestors is: Borgerhout, Berchem and Antwerpen. The archives from the other boroughs besides, Antwerp, are not in the felixarchief (each city could choose whether to save the files or whether to throw them away). Continue reading Immigration files in Archives of Antwerp & State Archives of Belgium