I would love to say there was not a single person in the Netherlands who turned a blind eye to the brutal Nazi regime and especially in relation the treatment of their fellow citizens, who happened to be Jewish. But I’d be telling a lie.
There were many who at risk of their own lives helped the Jews escape or hid them. In February 1941 there was a massive national strike in protests against the treatment of the Jews,
And although there was a relative small percentage who actively helped the Nazis there were many who did nothing and turned a blind eye.
The Dutch Railways played an active part in the transportation and often the trains were driven by Dutch machinists.
I don’t want to be hypocritical about it because I don’t know what I would have done, I’d like to believe I would have resisted but since I was never put in that situation I don’t know.
Many did see their fellow citizens being put on a train and didn’t question why their neighbours,friends,colleagues or schoolmates were deported. Partially because of fear for their own lives but also because they maybe just didn’t want to know,ignorance is bliss they say.
There was also this culture enshrined in the Dutch psyche to follow the orders of the authorities, without too many questions being asked.
I am proud to be a Dutch man for there were many heroes who did so many selfless acts of bravery and they are my examples. But I also have to acknowledge there are black pages in my country’s history which should never be forgotten.
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