Sinterklaas in World War II

One thing that always surprises me in any war, particularly World War II, is that so many aspects of normal life still happened. The Dutch celebrate Sinterklaas (St Nicholas aka Santa Claus) on December 5, but he usually arrives in the country in mid-November.

This is one of the celebrations which continued during World War II. Following are just some impressions.

Mobilized Dutch soldiers were surprised by a visit from Sinterklaas and his servant. The good saint hands out surprise gifts to the soldiers in December 1939.

Commando troops of the Commando-Brabant/Regiment Commando-Brabant during the Second World War. Soldiers of the 8th company during a Sinterklaas celebration in December 1944.

Sinterklaas or collaborator? Visit of Arthur Seyss-Inquart to the Leerdam glass factories, where a large St. Nicholas party was organized for poor Leerdam children. Here Sinterklaas shakes hands with Seyss-Inquart.

Seyss-Inquart was the Reich commissioner for the German-occupied Netherlands. he shared responsibility for the deportation of Dutch Jews and the shooting of hostages.


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