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Article gave Dutch bad rap on Holocaust


Date published: 4/29/2014

This is in response to the April 20 article titled "Student seeks Holocaust justice." The following clarification should be brought to the attention of your readers.

It's a sad story indeed, but the Dutch government escaped to London early May 1940 at the start of the invasion of the German army of the Lowlands, and it can't be held responsible for the deportation of the Dutch Jewish population.

The quote "The Netherlands deported a relative high percentage of its Jews during the Nazi occupation" is false and needs some explanation.

The Dutch were very supportive toward protecting their Jewish population from the Nazis.

The February 1941 general strike took place in Amsterdam on Feb. 25 in protest of the first roundup of Jews, which had started on Feb. 22. The victims were transported to collection centers in the Netherlands and, after that, to numerous concentration camps in Poland and Germany.

Many Dutch families, while hiding Jewish families, exposed themselves to facing a firing squad in front of their own home when discovered, or, at best, were immediately deported to work camps.

The Dutch National Registration System never did indicate someone's religion or political ambition.

The percentage of native Nazis in the Netherlands was rather small, but a group of German Jews, heading up the Jewish Counsel in Amsterdam, were the ones who opened their efficiently kept record books to the enemy, trying to save their own hides.

They were the direct cause of the systematic deportation of their fellow citizens, not the exiled Dutch government.

Rudi J. Van Leeuwen

Spotsylvania