- Category : 1943-births
- Type : GP
- Profile : 1/3 - Investigating / Martyr
- Definition : Single
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Contagion 1
Dutch journalist, radio and television presenter, columnist, critic and author.
He was born as the oldest child of the Hebrew man of letters, historian, poet and writer Jaap Meijer (18 November 1912, Winschoten - 9 July 1993, Heemstede) and Liesbeth Voet (-1993. Heemstede). They married 20 June 1940 in Amsterdam. The from a poor family stemming orthodox Jew Jaap Meijer studied for rabbi, but married the socialistic and not orthodox brought up diamond workers daughter Liesbeth Voet. Thereby he lost the opportunity to become an orthodox rabbi. Instead he became a respected Dutch historian and biographer.
From 1941-1943, his father worked at the Jewish Lyceum in Amsterdam and was the history teacher of Anne Frank. As a baby Ischa was deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp along with his parents. Ischa and his parents survived, unlike so many other family members. But though the young family physically survived the war, they became very traumatised. But when coming home again after the war, little attention was given to PTSD and concentration camp syndromes. The motto of the Wiederafbau was, work hard, life goes on. And also the effects of their psycho-trauma on the second generation of war victims, he and his post war siblings, received no attention, until the end of the sixties (see source notes).
His after the war born sister Mirjam Meijer (1946), described her father as emotionally cold and only interested in the academic performance of his children. Her grandfather Samuel Meijer (23 March 1874, Amsterdam - 31 October 1923, Winschoten) died when her father was a teenager, and her grandmother Martha Kramer (21 January 1884, Leeuwarden- 2 November 1942, Auschwitz) ended in the gas chambers.
Back in Holland Ischa got polio and meningitis. The resulting paresis of the right facial nerve caused facial asymmetry. The right eye is wider, the left lip hangs and the right part of the face does not express full emotions.
Early in the fifties, the family moved to Paramaribo, out of fear of a Communist hegemony, but they returned several years later to Amsterdam. At age 18 Ischa, had to leave home after a traumatised youth with emotional and physical violence. Also his younger siblings Mirjam and Job, broke with the parents for this reason. Ischa dealt in a with his parents in "Brief aan mijn moeder" (1974), "Een rabbijn in de tropen" (1977) and "Mijn lieve ouders" (1993).
After finishing the gymnasium, and a not finished study Law, Ischa became journalist specialising in revealing interviews. His style changed from the traditional descriptive formal interviews to full quote interviews, typically noticing the reactions of the interviewed after his provocative or witty remarks. It was part of the anti-authoritative culture of the sixties and seventies, that the respect for authorities and celebrities was lost, and Ischa was a master in testing the limits without losing contact. Soon he also made interviews for radio and television in late night shows.
He was also a writer, actor and playwright. In 1983 he had success with "Izzy M. der sympathische Jude" in Berlin. In 1985 he got his first heart attack.
On February 14th 1995, on his 52nd birthday, he had his final heart attack while on his way to a coffee shop to celebrate his birthday. He died on his way to the hospital in the ambulance. He left two children and many lovers. His daughter Jessica (1984) became a writer. She was four when she first saw here father, as Ischa had left her mother when she was seven months pregnant. After her fathers death Jessica got bulimia, just like her following her husband grandmother Liesbeth Voet, who saw her distaste of food as a way to survive the Holocaust.
In 1995 the immensely restless "enfant terrible" Ischa, who identified himself with the (lost soul) Wandering Jew, was given posthumous recognition or his journalistic work by receiving the Zilveren Reissmicrofoon, an important award in the world of Dutch radio. Besides the book I.M. of Connie Palmen, another book was launched concerning the life of Ischa Meijer by his sister Mirjam, who wrote the book "Mijn broer Ischa" (My brother Ischa) (1997). Meijer also played a background role in Connie Palmen's book "Geheel de Uwe"(Entirely Yours).