Holocaust in the Netherlands.


In 1939, there were some 140.000 Dutch Jews living in the Netherlands, among them some 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), like the Anne Frank family, from Frankfurt am Main.

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 theracial standards of the Nazis , but by what the persons declared themselves to be in the population census):

The Netherlands had 12 provincies and here the numbers: Groningen – 4,682, Friesland – 851, Drenthe – 2.498, Overijssel – 4.345,Gelderland – 6.663, Utrecht – 4.147- North Holland – 87.026 (including 79.410 in Amsterdam), South Holland – 25.617, Zeeland – 174, Limburg-1394 and the province of North Brabant where I live – 2.320, a total of – 139.717.

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.


The Holocaust’s Other Victims.

In the Romany language, the Holocaust is referred to as the “Porrajmos”, a word that means “the devouring”.  The Nazis tried to eradicate the entire Roma and Sinti population of Europe in the same manner they tried to destroy the Jews. Roma and Sinti were considered “life undeserving of life”, as well as an “inferior race”.

In December, 1937, the German Agency International Kriminalpolizei Kommission (IKPK) established a satellite agency in the Netherlands specifically to deal with Roma and Sinti. The Nederlandse Zigeuner Centrale was supposed to send fingerprints and photos of all Dutch Roma and Sinti to Germany. However, due to financial considerations, it was dissolved in January, 1939 (Sijes, 169).

As a result of this pre-war attitude, the Dutch did not initially object to the first anti-Gypsy laws that the Nazis put into place.  in 1943 a national registry of criminals was established. Many Gypsies were considered criminals based on their ethnicity and itinerant lifestyle and so were registered on this list.  To avoid registration many Gypsies went into hiding in private homes, or fled to large cities like Amsterdam or The Hague where they tried to become anonymous.

In the Netherlands it is commonly accepted that the Nazis murdered 215 Roma and Sinti, see Settella Steinbach the Sinti girl from Westervoort. settela_steinbach_560__1443453237_14876 This figure only takes into account the “Zigeuner transport” of 1944. However, by this date many Gypsies were already in camps or had been deported elsewhere. They are difficult to identify because they registered not by ethnicity, but as criminals, a socials, or political prisoners. They were held in camps like Amersfoort and Buchenwald, also Vught and Bergen Belsen, among others (Beckers, 28).


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