David Kann

Department of History

Research student


Thesis title: Het Joodsche Weekblad (The Jewish Weekly), as an Instrument of Persecution between 1940 and 1943 during the German occupation of the Netherlands.




Thesis abstract:

Even the most optimistic Jews would not for one moment have supposed that the Germans were going to leave the Jewish press unhindered after the start of the Occupation of the Netherlands in May 1940. The Germans considered that it would be quite undesirable for the Aryan press to discuss the Jewish question and Jews were to be educated to read only their own newspaper.

It was not long before the only Dutch Jewish paper sanctioned by the Germans was Het Joodsche Weekblad (The Jewish Weekly), published by the Joodsche Raad (Jewish Council) shortly after its establishment on 13 February 1941.

Appearing every Friday from 11 April 1941 onwards, this newspaper was circulated throughout the Netherlands until it was closed by the Germans after its final issue on 28 September 1943. At that point, it no longer served any practical purpose because most Dutch Jews had already been deported and killed in the extermination camps of Greater Germany and occupied Poland.

Even in 'normal' peacetime circumstances, the journalistic content of a newspaper such as the Joodsche Weekblad would have been of social and historical interest over seventy years later. The context of the persecution and destruction of Dutch Jewry makes a detailed study of the impact of the Joodsche Weekblad irresistible.


I am an architect by profession. Since retiring, I have acted as a consultant to the Royal Institute of British Architects, Architects Registration Board and others.

A concurrent complete change of direction came about when I undertook a Masters by Research degree at Royal Holloway University of London. This venture arose from a lifelong desire to study history at an advanced level, a Dutch/German Jewish refugee family background and having time and resources available to pursue these studies for pleasure in later life.

  • PhD History, University of Sheffield, 2018 - present 
  • MA (Master of Arts by Research), Royal Holloway University of London, 2017 - Research topic (Supervised by Professor Dan Stone, Director of the Holocaust Research Institute at Royal Holloway University of London): "Interactions Surrounding the Built Environment and the Persecution of the Rivierenbuurt Jews under German Occupation"
  • Grad Dip Arch, ARB, RIBA, South Bank University London, 1977 (Academic and professional qualifications as an architect)


  • Sir Ian Kershaw Prize for PhD Research on 20th. Century Modern European History 
  • Several prizes for conservation of historic buildings
Professional activities and memberships
  • Architect Member of the Architects Registration Board’s Professional Conduct Committee
  • Architect Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects’ Professional Conduct Committee
  • Corporate Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Registered architect with the Architects Registration Board
  • Member of the Faculty of Party Wall Surveyors.
Publications and conferences

Conference and seminar papers:

  • "German Policy Conflicts and the Demise of Het Joodsche Weekblad (The Dutch Jewish Council's Weekly Newspaper)" at Lessons and Legacies Conference, Ludwig Maximilian University, Munich, November 2019

Book reviews:

  • The Secret Diary of Arnold Douwes: Rescue in the Occupied Netherlands, Bob Moore and Johannes Houwink ten Cate (eds.) trans. Bob Moore.