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NL in WW2

Reader comment on item: Hating Geert Wilders
in response to reader comment: The Netherlands during occupation

Submitted by Charles Reinderhoff (Netherlands), Apr 2, 2014 at 05:55

Myth, although I can understand your viewpoint regarding the Dutch collaboration with the nazi's on the deportation of it's Jewish population, I must make one point.

Of course the Dutch had no chance whatsoever against the nazi invasion. Its army was ill equipped and outdated. But after that, when the fighting was over after a couple of days, and the country returned to a seemingly pretty normal situation, whereby the day to day order was restored, Dutch society tried to pick up the pieces and make a go of it under (and with) the new ruler. I have spoken with many people over the years (some now dead ofcourse) who had experienced the occupation at that time. Many told the same thing: the first years of the occupation, during 1940-1943 was not so bad at all. Day to day life was not that different, although not the same as before of course. Almost everybody had work, and civil life even took a turn for the better! After that, it rapidly started to get worse of course, as the Nazi's were going to loose the war, dragging Dutch society with it in it's doom.

Now, regarding the Jewish people: their situation changed rapidly after the invasion. The collaboration of official Dutch organisations within local government en businesses has been well documented. Also, many citizens helped authorities (passively and actively) in an ever growing process of discriminating against and pointing out Jewish persons. Don't forget that there was (also in the Netherlands) a strong anti semitic undercurrent in society. This all helped in the systematic expulsion and deportation of the Jewish people out of the Netherlands. Around 90% never came back and were murdered in the nazi death camps.

Now, I want to compare this with the situation in Denmark, also a small neighboring country of Germany. There, almost 90% of it's Jewish population was saved! The Danes did not step aside and did not collaborate with the nazi's on this. They helped their Jewish citizens escape.

Sadly, the Netherlands have almost the highest percentage on deported Jews of all the occupied countries in Europe (90%). The few Jewish survivors of the holocaust returning to the Netherlands after the war, found their homes and properties stolen by other Dutch citizens, and more then often never returned to them. Most of the returning Jewish people suffered in silence. It's a national disgrace which never really could be laid to rest. This explains (in part) the sometimes almost hysterical reactions regarding immigrants and or (trying) to discuss expulsion of some criminal immigrants (who almost to the man have 2 passports; a Dutch passport and a Morroccan one).

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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