Monument at Westerbork: Each stone represents one person who had stayed at Westerbork and died in a Nazi camp
In 1939, there were some 140,000 Dutch Jews living in the Netherlands, among them some 24,000 to 25,000 German-Jewish refugees who had fled Germany in the 1930s (other sources claim that some 34,000 Jewish refugees entered the Netherlands between 1933 and 1940, mostly from Germany and Austria). The Nazi occupation force put the number of (racially) Dutch Jews in 1941 at some 154,000. In the Nazi census, some 121,000 persons declared they were members of the (Ashkenazi) Dutch-Israelite community; 4,300 persons declared they were members of the (Sephardic) Portuguese-Israelite community.
Some 19,000 persons reported having two Jewish grandparents (although it is generally believed a proportion of this number had in fact three Jewish grandparents, but declined to state that number for fear that they would be seen as Jews instead of half-Jews by the Nazi authorities). Some 6,000 persons reported having one Jewish grandparent. Some 2,500 persons who were counted in the census as Jewish were members of a Christian church, mostly Dutch Reformed, Calvinist Reformed or Roman Catholic.
In 1941, most Dutch Jews were living in Amsterdam. The census in 1941 gives an indication of the geographical spread of Dutch Jews at the beginning of World War II (province; number of Jews – this number is not based on the racial standards of the Nazis, but by what the persons declared themselves to be in the population census):
In 1945, only about 35,000 of them were still alive. The exact number of “full Jews” who survived the Holocaust is estimated to be 34,379 (of whom 8,500 were part of a mixed marriage and thus spared deportation and possible death in the Nazi concentration camps); the number of “half Jews” who were present in the Netherlands at the end of the Second World War in 1945 is estimated to be 14,545, the number of “quarter Jews” 5,990. Some 75% of the Dutch-Jewish population perished, an unusually high percentage compared with other occupied countries in western Europe.
One of the best known Holocaust victims in the Netherlands is the German girl Anne Frank. Along with her sister, Margot Frank, she died from typhus in March 1945, shortly before the end of the war. in the concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen, due to unsanitary living conditions and confinement by the Nazis. Anne Frank’s mother, Edith Frank-Holländer, was starved to death by the Nazis in Auschwitz. Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, survived the war.