1940 – Germany Invades The Netherlands, Changes the Laws then Attacks the Jewish People

Even though this story posted below is in the past, what frightens me is that many politicians in America who run for office say things that are just a few steps away from this, not just for the Jewish people, but for other groups of people also.  They take away your rights to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,” under the guise of moral conservatism, then what follows?  You don’t think this could happen again?  It couldn’t happen anywhere on Earth again (especially in the United States)?  What do some of the American politicians want to do by changing the laws they suggest?  Why do the Republicans call the President “Satan?”  Why do they make political commercials showing images or talk of assassinations and shooting their political enemies?  What’s next?

The Netherlands

After the German invasion of the Netherlands in May 1940, a civil administration was installed under SS auspices. Arthur Seyss-Inquart was appointed Reich Commissar. He presided over a German administration that included many Austrian-born Nazis. They in turn supervised the Dutch civil service. This arrangement was to prove fateful for the Jews of the Netherlands.

During 1940, the German occupation authorities banned Jews from the civil service and required Jews to register the assets of their business enterprises. In January 1941, the German authorities required all Jews to register themselves as Jews. A total of 159,806 persons registered, including 19,561 persons born of mixed marriages. The total included some 25,000 Jewish refugees from the German Reich. A Jewish council was established in February 1941.

The arrests of several hundred young Jews (sent to the Buchenwald and Mauthausen concentration camps) led to a general strike by Dutch workers on February 25, 1941, and a hardening of Nazi policy. The German authorities and their Dutch collaborators segregated Jews from the general Dutch population, and incarcerated 15,000 Jews in German-administered forced-labor camps. The Germans then ordered the concentration of Jews in Amsterdam and sent foreign and stateless Jews to the Westerbork transit camp in the northeast part of the country. Some of the remaining provincial Jews were sent to the Vught camp. As of April 29, 1942, Jews were required to wear a yellow Star of David on their clothing.

Deportations of Jews from the Netherlands began in the summer of 1942. The last train left Westerbork for Auschwitz on September 3, 1944. During these two years, the Germans and their Dutch collaborators deported 107,000 Jews, mostly to Auschwitz and Sobibor, where they were murdered. Only 5,200 survived. In addition, 25,000-30,000 Jews went into hiding, assisted by the Dutch underground. Two-thirds of Dutch Jews in hiding managed to survive.

The geography of the Netherlands made escape difficult. The ruthless efficiency of the German administration and the willing cooperation of Dutch administrators and policemen doomed the Jews of the Netherlands. Less than 25 percent of Dutch Jewry survived the Holocaust.

PERSONAL HISTORIES

Video of some of the survivors and what they went through along with information of some of the Nazi leadership involved in what happened are posted here: http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/gallery_oi.php?ModuleId=10005436

PHOTOJOURNALISM

Excellent Photojournalism of all this found at http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/gallery_ph.php?ModuleId=10005436

Reposted from United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. “The Netherlands” http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005436 Accessed on February 25, 2012

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