The Dispossession and Theft of Jewish Goods

I have been accused before of focusing on the involvement of the Dutch during the Holocaust too much. But I do believe, if you want to be critical of others, you have to look at your own first.

Like in Germany, the mistreatment and eventual murder of Jews in the Netherlands started as a gradual process and then sprung into an accelerated pace in the Netherlands.

During the Second World War, the Nazis thoroughly and systematically deprived the rights and possessions of the Jewish population in the Netherlands, with the cooperation of parts of the Dutch population. Legally, these steps were laid down in the form of regulations, which had the force of law. It is important to note that these regulations went completely against the Dutch constitution and the 1917 National War Regulations discussed earlier. Below is a timeline of the economic disenfranchisement of Dutch Jews.

May 1940: The German occupation of the Netherlands. From 18 May 1940, the highest administrative authority in the Netherlands rested with the Reichskommissar Arthur Seyss-Inquart, who could issue regulations.

October 1940: By regulation VO 189/1940, Jewish companies had to register. About 22,000 companies did so. From March 1941, they fell under the management of the German authorities, after which liquidation followed via a second, later regulation (VO 48/1941).

November 1940: Jewish civil servants were dismissed by decree (VO 137/1940).

January 1941: Every person with at least one Jewish grandparent had to register as a Jew with the population register. Historian Lou de Jong called this regulation of 10 January (VO 6/1941), “one of the most fatal regulations of the occupation years.”

August 1941: The first “Liro Regulation” (VO 148/1941) obliged Jews to transfer their bank accounts to Lippmann, Rosenthal & Co. to transfer.

That same month they had to register their real estate and income from it (VO 154/1941). As a result, the registration of 20,000 and 25,000 properties and approximately 5,600 mortgages took place. These fell under the management of the Niederländische Grundstücksverwaltung (NGV), or the Dutch Administration of Real Estate.

July 1942: The transport to extermination camps for Jews in the Netherlands began on a large scale. The government removed their rights at that time. From that moment on, it was open season for robbery and the sale of Jewish properties. The Hague Estate Agent and NSB member, Dirk Hidde de Vries established the General Dutch Property Management (ANBO) for the sale of looted Jewish properties.

The loss of their property rights meant a complete exclusion of Jews from economic and legal life in the Netherlands. This process went step by step through many different, including Dutch, organizations, but we can summarize it in three phases: registration, management and sales. Management, in this case, meant that the former owners no longer had any control over their property or businesses, nor did they receive any income from it. The appointed administrators only had to follow instructions from the occupier. The proceeds from the sale of the stolen Jewish property went to the German management agency Vermögensverwaltungs- und Rentenanstalt (VVRA), instead of to the rightful claimants. With this income, the occupying power paid, among other things, for the construction of the concentration and transport camps in the Netherlands. The managers and war buyers were not only Germans or members of the N.S.B., Dutch people without National Socialist convictions also participated.

Various organizations carried out the robbery of Jewish property and the sale, which was a culmination of the juridical and economic deprivation of Jews. As mentioned above in the timeline, Jewish land ownership was administered by the Niederländische Grundstückverwaltung (hereinafter referred to as NGV) and its private subcontractors. This management included all legal acts “which entail a proper management of Jewish land ownership” and aimed at selling the properties to ‘Aryan’ Dutchmen. By allowing the Dutch population to participate in the robbery of Jewish possessions, the German occupying forces were able to spread the National Socialist ideology. Part of the Dutch population also gained an interest in preventing the pre-war situation from being restored. The NGV appointed so-called Verwalter (private managers) to carry out these activities. In Schiedam, and also Rotterdam and The Hague, among others, these transactions were carried out by the Algemeen Nederlands Beheer Immovable Property. This organization was set up in 1941 specifically for the management of expropriated Jewish homes by the broker Dirk Hidde de Vries from The Hague, who had the power of substitution for the NGV. After the expropriation of Jewish houses, the managers had themselves registered as such in the land register. Homeowners who lived in their own homes then had to pay the managers rent to continue living in their own homes. When the manager sold Jewish properties, the former owners had to vacate their homes immediately, leaving them suddenly homeless. When Jewish owners were deported to extermination camps, their household effects were inventoried, by the Hausraterfassungstelle, after which the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg often transported furniture to Germany to replace furniture destroyed by bombings.

The NGV registered more than 7,000 transactions of expropriated Jewish property in the Verkaufsbücher. The organization and its trustees seem to have had mixed success selling Jewish homes. Historians differ in opinion about how eagerly the expropriated buildings were accepted by the Dutch population. In general, these house sales stagnated after the German defeat at Stalingrad in February 1943. Robin te Slaa notes that houses were sold with little success in The Hague, while Hinke Piersma and Jeroen Kemperman note that there was a lively trade in Amsterdam around the buildings. Some Dutch municipalities, such as Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam also purchased expropriated Jewish property themselves.


Rapport Joodse Huiseigenaren en Huurders Gemeente Schiedam


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