The Shalvi/Hyman Encyclopedia of Jewish Women

Features thousands of biographic and thematic essays on Jewish women around the world. Learn more

Selma Leydesdorff

Selma Leydesdorff is professor emerita of oral history and culture at the University of Amsterdam and has published extensively on both Jewish history and oral history. Her dissertation, We Lived with Dignity, was published in German and English translation. She is one of the principal editors of the Memory and Narrative Series (Routledge) and has published extensively on the Holocaust and on surviving genocide and trauma. She is best known for her work on women surviving the genocide of Srebrenica, which was translated into English and Bosnian. For the last 10 years she has worked on the history of Sobibor and interviewed survivors and co-plaintiffs around the Demjanjuk trial; the collection is stored in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. In 2017 she published a biography of Alexandr Pechersky, the leader of the 1943 uprising in Sobibor, dealing with Nazism and the persecution of Jews in the communist world.

Articles by this author

Roosje Vos

Roosje Vos was an organizer of the Dutch socialist movement and an editor of De Naaistersbode, the journal of the seamstresses’ trade union. She represented the interests of feminists and women in the movement, at times at odds with her fellow leaders.

Clara Asscher Pinkhof

Clara Asscher Pinkhof dedicated her life and work to helping and advocating for Jewish children, initially as a teacher and later as an author. She is most known for her accounts of the experiences of Jewish children during the Nazi occupation.

Modern Netherlands

Like Jewish women everywhere, Dutch Jewish women struggled with issues of assimilation, emancipation, and equality as both Jews and women. This article summarizes the conditions and challenges facing Jewish women in the Netherlands and the paths to progress and change they sought—education, work, activism, and literature, among others—from the nineteenth century to the present, including after the particular decimation of Dutch Jewry during the Holocaust.

Rosa Manus

Rosa Manus was a Dutch leader in international women’s movements for suffrage and equality, as well as a vocal pacifist before and during World War II. As a Jew, she at times clashed with other feminist leaders.

Carry Van Bruggen

Fighting the constraints of her Orthodox upbringing and expectations of her role as a wife and mother, novelist Carry van Bruggen wrote movingly of both the need for freedom and the isolation it could bring.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Selma Leydesdorff." (Viewed on October 3, 2022) <>.


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