Desecrating Synagogues

The Holocaust wasn’t only the mass murder of the European Jews and other groups, it was also desecrating places of worships, especially synagogues,. It was showing total contempt and disrespect for holy places.

The above picture was taken on September 16,1944. It shows American and Canadian Jewish soldiers clear the synagogue in Maastricht , which was used as a warehouse during the war. This photo appeared in the New York Times of September 16, 1944 under the caption: “Hope springs eternal”.

The V-actions were Allied propaganda expressions based on the V-sign (V for Victory). To curb the success of these actions, the Germans devised a similar action: ‘V=Victory, because Germany wins for Europe on all fronts’. In August 1941, the synagogue in Apeldoorn. was set on fire, and daubed during on of those V-actions.

The synagogue in Deventer, destroyed by the Nazis, 1941.

Synagogue of Nijmegen, in Gerard Noodtstraat, defaced with anti-Semitic slogans and a Swastika , August 1941

Defaced synagogue in Beverwijk, circa 1942

The synagogue in Apeldoorn was set on fire and defaced by NSB members. August 1941.

Synagogue Paslaan 18, in Apeldoorn. Set on fire by NSB members in mid-August 1941.

What pains me to say is that all of these synagogues were desecrated by Dutch and not Germans. They probably were members of the NSB, the Dutch Nazi Party, buy they were Dutch and no one forced them to do this.

source

Using the death of a Dutch Nazi for political gain.

The Weerbaarheidsafdeling (WA; “Resilience Department”) was the paramilitary arm of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB), the fascist political party that collaborated with the Nazi ocupiers of the Netherlands during World War II. The organization, roughly equivalent to the German SA, was founded in 1932 by Anton Mussert, co-founder of the NSB in 1931 and its leader until the end of the war. Members wore and marched in black uniforms and were thus called “blackshirts”. In 1933 the Dutch government banned the wearing of uniforms (by civilians), and the WA was disbanded in 1935 in order to forestall the Dutch government’s banning it. In 1940, after the German invasion, the WA became openly active again, and more ruthless than before. They specialized in violent attacks, particularly on the Dutch Jewish population.

The WA magazine called ‘The Black Soldier’

On Saturday afternoon, September 7, 1940, about 200 members of the National Youth Storm, accompanied by a number of WA men, marched through The Hague. A cyclist, intentionally or unintentionally, collided with a girl from the Youth Storm and was then beaten up by the gunmen. The public got involved, after which passing German soldiers also came to the aid of the WA soldiers. Police officers from The Hague fired warning shots to restore order. A number of WA’ers were hit by bullets. It is not unlikely that it was fired by the German military. One of the WA officers was 28-year-old Petrus Nicolaas (Peter) Ton(seen in the picture above), who was shot in the head and died later that evening.
For the NSB there was no doubt: Ton had been murdered. The young WA was considered a martyr. Thousands of NSB members from all over the country were present at his funeral on September 11 at Nieuw Eykenduinen cemetery, and the entire leadership of the movement, led by Mussert, and the general commander of WA, mr. A.J. without.

Mussert used the ‘murder of Peter Ton’ to demand that the Nazi occupiers finally intervene in the system of justice and police.

He got his way: Hanns Albin Rauter (supreme boss of the SS and the police in the Netherlands) immediately fired the Hague police chief N.G. van der Mei. The police officers involved in the incident had Rauter arrested. Arthur Seyss-Inquart (the German ‘Reich Commissioner’ and Hitler’s deputy in the Netherlands) and Rauter took the opportunity to centralize the leadership of the Dutch police. Two attorneys general were also fired.

It could not be established from the Dutch side whether a police bullet from The Hague actually caused Ton’s death, because the autopsy on the remains was only performed by the Germans. It is possible that Ton was hit by a stray German bullet. His death brought the NSB into great excitement: Ton was the first NSB member to die ‘in office’ and for his National Socialist ideals. In the NSB jargon of the time, Ton was the first ‘blood sacrifice of the Movement’. The WA company to which Ton had belonged was given its name as a reminder. While waiting for the NSB mausoleum to be built on the Goudsberg in Lunteren, Ton was buried in The Hague. His funeral ceremony became a manifestation of the NSB, in which many thousands of comrades and comrades were present from all over the country.

sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Peter-Ton/03/0004

Nederlandse Landwacht-Dutch Collaborators.

In general I have some level, albeit low, of sympathy for those who choose to collaborate with the Nazi regime in the Netherlands, because maybe they felt it was the only way to survive.

However, I have no sympathy for the Nederlandse Landwacht, they were in it for their own greed and hunger for power. Their aim was to terrorize Dutch citizens, including their neighbours, and to protect members of the Dutch Nazi party, the NSB.. None of these men had to join, they were never forced to do so. They joined because they wanted to.

The Nederlandse Landwacht was a Dutch paramilitary organization founded by the Nazi occupiers in the Netherlands on November 12, 1943. It should not be confused with the military volunteer corps ‘Landwacht Nederland’, which was established in March 1943 and renamed Landstorm Nederland in October, and which became part of the Waffen-SS.

The Landwacht was first seen on the street in March 1944. The Landwacht mostly was made up of Dutch National Socialist movement (NSB) members equipped with shotguns. The populace nicknamed them the “Jan-Hagel”, Dutch slang for a rabble but also related to the Dutch word for a shotgun (hagelgeweer). The Landwacht was mainly used to guard buildings, check identity cards, and carry out arrests, house searches, and raids. They did not wear a uniform initially, but were identified by a red bracelet.

A case of bullying by the Landwacht: on June 13, 1944, the ‘heroes of the Landwacht’ take food from successful HBS students in Apeldoorn. Reinier Hardonk writes in his diary: “Young people, who had passed the Christian HBS, went out per Jan Enjoyment. They had collected some butter, eggs, sugar, etc. as presents for the teachers. They were along the way by ‘heroes of The land guard was arrested, the food was taken and the boys were taken to Arnhem as prisoners. What a heroic act!”

The Landwacht was feared and hated by the population, among other things because during the Hongerwinter, the Dutch famine in the winter of 1944–45, the Landwacht confiscated food parcels from Dutch civilians. Many thousands of Dutch people had traveled hundreds of kilometers to obtain bread or some potatoes. On 27 March 1945 the illegal Het Parool newspaper devoted an article to the Landwacht’s many arrests and executions. Het Parool voiced its opinion saying that the Landwachters should be shot after the war.

Members of the Landwacht generally wore the black NSB party uniforms: black shirts, black trousers or riding breeches, black leather motorcycle or riding boots, and a black leather belt with matching carrying strap. Depending on the weather, a black tunic or black overcoat could be worn. Though the Landwacht were poorly armed, black pistol holsters were sometimes carried.

The Landwacht were so cruel that sometimes the Germans had to intervene

For example, the Ugchel diarist Willem van Houtum writes on April 8, 1944: “German soldiers beat Landwachters from the platform in Deventer. They checked the citizens there for clandestine goods. They threw everything on the ground. For example, bottles of milk and precious eggs were smashed. Another member wants to ride the bus for free in Epe. This is only allowed for members of the German Wehrmacht. After many words, the conductor calls the head office in Apeldoorn and this in turn calls the Ortskommandant. Apeldoorn was met by two sturdy mechanics. They take him to the Ortskommandant. He suddenly wants to pay at that moment, but that is no longer the point. The mechanics literally grab him by the collar and bring the criminal to the intended address. After some scolding The Ortskommandant notices that the Landwachter is carrying a revolver under his coat, which is why he is handed over to the SD, who put him in jail. The villains eventually end up in jail. According to rumors, there are already more Landwachters in prison than can be checked.”


At the end of August 1944, the Winterswijk Landwacht gets hold of a farmer’s daughter, the mayor of Wisch and Terborg describes: At farmer Rougoor they tied a cloth over Leyda’s eyes, they would count to ten; if she did not say where the Jews were, she would be shot. When she said nothing, they shot into the ground, but the girl persisted. Shame on those bastards. The cross of merit to Leyda!”

During the famine winter, the Landwacht became deeply hated for confiscating food so laboriously gathered by civilians during food scavenges.

Eventually only 3 members received the death penalty after the war, Gerard Rollema , Gerrit Sanner and Dirk Eijkelboom.

sources

https://www.gld.nl/nieuws/2147922/hoe-de-beruchte-landwacht-nsbers-moest-beschermen

Lou Manche-Dutch Artist and Nazi propagandist.

One of the most powerful weapons during World War 2 was propaganda. The armies did not have to be persuades to go to war, it was their job to follow the orders of their respective governments.

However to persuade the civilians of the merits of war, propaganda was used this was done by all sides.

But World War 2 was different then any other war before. it also included the targeted mass murder of civilian population. For the Nazis to convince the general population that they were not only fighting external enemies but also ‘internal# ones they came up with a whole range of propaganda tools to sell their lies and market them as truth. It is a fact there is an element of truth in every lie.

Lou Manche was a member of the NSB, the Dutch Nazi party. He was also a member of the WA, which was the Dutch equivalent of the Stormtroopers, they called themselves a group who maintained order, but in fact they were just a gang of thugs.

Lou was also an artist, and by all means a very talented artist, but rather then using his talents for good he used them for evil.

He became a prominent propagandist for the NSB. The poster at the start of the blog is one of his posters. In the poster he makes clever use of semiotics, the study of signs and symbols and their use or interpretation, there are a few symbols in the poster: The star of David; the hammer and sickle, a caricature of Winston Churchill sitting on someone, who I believe to be Stafford Cripps, who was appointed Ambassador to the Soviet Union by Churchill..

Lou also makes use of words like: retarded; dandy ; millionaire communist; gold trading Jews. All of these symbols and words are all subliminal messages- messages that are meant to kind of ‘slip past your mental radar’ and embed itself deep into your subconscious mind- they were aimed to make Jews, English, Communists and also people with mental illness look to be the enemy of the state.

People who read these messages may have thought they were no so harmful because they didn’t call for aggression. They may have thought they were warnings of what could happen. The headline says “If England wins the war” it then lists all that could happen. In short it says that the Jews would exploit the Dutch and the English described as retarded’ and Soviets would destroy the country.

The poster also makes reference to a piece H.G Wells had written in a magazine called the ‘Fortnightly’ .

Wells warns about the mistake the English government has made by going to war with Germany. To end Hitler’s regime, he warns about what may come after Hitler. He also says that they think that they can render Hitler powerless just so that can go back fishing and golfing, quoted on the poster of Lou Manche. This of course was one of those cherry picking tactics of the Nazis, H.G. Wells had been one of the authors banned by the Nazi regime. His book “The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind” was one of the books, thrown into the flames, a the 1933 book burnings. But if it suited the Nazis agenda they would be willing to overlook that fact.

Although many Dutch used their common sense and did not heed the propaganda of the NSB and Lou Manche, there were plenty who fell for it, and quite a few were well educated. 75% of all Dutch Jews were murdered during the Holocaust, Lou Manche’s ‘art’ had a part to play in this.

Many of Lou Manche’s propaganda posters remind me of modern day memes, which are often used in a similar way to get a political message across. Like then they are usually taken out of context.

After the war Lou Manche was only jailed for a short time. In 1954 the Royal British Legion had even commissioned him to do a stained glass piece for them. But afters a great number of protests they decided to assign it to another artist

sources

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/hg-wells

https://historical.ha.com/itm/books/philosophy/-h-g-wells-contributor-the-fortnightly-fortnightly-review-may-1940-issue-original-wrappers-some-wear-and-t/a/201306-93219.s

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The Evil of Herman Heukels.

Not every evil act was committed by a weapon or by sending people to the gas chamber. Some evil acts were much more subtle.

Herman Heukels was a photographer and a member of the NSB, the Dutch Nazi party, Herman’s weapon was a camera. He took pictures of several raids. His most famous pictures are probably those he took in Amsterdam, on the Olympia Square on June 20,1943, of Jews awaiting deportation . His photographs were published in “Storm” the newspaper for the Dutch SS.

It was evil because he knew these people were going to be deported to camps like Westerbork and eventually so Auschwitz and Sobibor. He knew that most of these people would be murdered. He took pictures of families who would be dead only a few weeks or few months later.

The people he took pictures of were clearly distressed. Their houses or apartments were just taken away from them, all they had left were a few suitcases. They didn’t know what the future would hold for them. But they knew it wasn’t good.

Herman did not take these pictures for them to pick them up after he had developed them. Herman posted them in a vile newspaper so that its readers could gloat.

Herman Heukels passport had expired a day after he took the pictures on the Olympia Square, it expired on June 21,1943. He then applied for a foreign passport, I can only presume a German passport.

He was arrested after the war and committed suicide on April 26,1947,while in prison.

sources

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/thema/Herman%20Heukels

Excursion to Dachau

day trip

One might be forgiven that the title implies a current school trip to Dachau, but the title refers to another kind of trip to the notorious death camp.

The Dutch Nazis, the NSB. did not have the same level of hatred against, Jews,Roma and disabled people as their German counterpart. Himmler was aware of this but he needed support for the SS from the Dutch.

In January 1941 ,Himmler invited the leader of the NSB,Anton Mussert to Munich.

Mussert and Himmler

Most of the NSB leadership accompanied Mussert on his journey to Munich.The aim of the meeting was to make Mussert enthusiastic for the SS so he would encourage Dutch men to join them.

As part of the trip an excursion was planned to Dachau, but to ensure the Dutch delegation would not be shocked by what they saw there, the whole excursion was staged on January 20,1941.

They were shown good dormitories, great sanitary utilities and a well equipped  kitchen with high quality and fresh food. In short the wool was pulled over their eyes.

In an interview in jail in 1946, Mussert stated.

“That time when I visited Dachau, it was beautiful. People were walking around in the open air, they were busy gardening.baking and painting. They were all smiling. Later on of course I realized that this was all staged”

Although they did not have the same level of evilness as the NSDAP, the NSB were nevertheless willing participants in the Holocaust. Mussert may not have been fully aware what was going on in Dachau in January 1941, since it was reasonably early on in the war, but he knew exactly what the fate of the Jews was later on and he facilitated the occupying Nazi regime in any way he could.

The whole trip was a propaganda exercise. It is also a clear indication that the Nazis knew exactly that what they were doing was wrong, for they even hid their crimes for their ‘friends’.

Dachau visit

 

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Source

NIOD

 

Jews in the NSB

NSB

Many European countries had an equivalent of the NSDAP(Nazi) party, the Dutch National Socialist party was the NSB. It may be hard to believe nowadays but not every National Socialist party started off as an anti-Semitic party, as was the case with the NSB.

The NSB even had Jewish members, and the party leader ,Anton Mussert, emphasized in the party’s news paper,Volk en Vaderland(people and Fatherland) that the NSB was not an anti-Semitic party and Jews were welcome.

mUSSERT

He also wanted to make it clear that the NSB was nothing like the German NSDAP,it felt more aligned with the Italian Fascist party.

v & v

He claimed that the Jews would always be an integral part of the future of the Netherlands and they had nothing to be worried about.

However that prediction and promise became null and void the minute the Nazis took power in the Netherlands.

Although initially the Jews who had been active members of the NSB were excluded from deportation.

Between February and April 1943 eight ‘NSB Jews’ and the artist,Jo SpierS ,  were interned under the protection of Mussert in Villa Bouchina, a parsonage of the Christian Reformed Church in the City of Doetinchem. They became to be known as the ‘Mussert Jews’

Villa

The villa was empty because the resident Reverend J.TH. Meesters was taken to camp Amersfoort on 11 September 1942 for his participation in the Dutch resistance, where he was executed on 15 October 1942.

Eventually on  April 21 1943, these Jews were taken to Camp Theresienstad.Two of the 9 survived the war , Jo Spiers en Kaatje van Lunenburg .

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Holocaust in the Netherlands

1

Some people believe that when the Germans invaded the Netherlands in May 1940 the life of its Jewish population changed over night.

This however was not the case. Like in other European countries the undermining and eventual eradication of Jewish life was a gradual process.

Until September 1940 very little changed,It was only then when the German occupation of the Netherlands started to have an impact on the 107,000 Jews living there.  A series of anti-Jewish measures started to make life  difficult.

2

Throughout 1941, the situation for Jews in the Netherlands got worse.  Jews were banned from public places, subjected to nighttime curfews and travel restrictions. Jewish students were also thrown out of schools and universities. Then, during late 1941, the Joodse Raad(Jewish Council) was tasked with providing lists of workers as the Germans opened a number of forced labour camps.

3

In may 1942 Jews were ordered to wear a yellow Star of David containing the word Jood (the Dutch word for Jew). As a sign of protest some Non Jewish Dutch also wore the Yellow star.

4

Deportations of Jews from the Netherlands began in the summer of 1942 and lasted until September 1944. Approximately 75% of the Dutch Jews did not survive the war.

A Substantial, albeit minority part of the Dutch population,  were  sympathetic to the Nazis ideology(or idiocy) .The NSB were the dutch equivalent of the NSDAP in Germany, they subscribed to the same Fascist  ideas.

nsb

However there were many Dutch who risked their own lives and that of their families to save their Jewish neighbours. he NV-Groep (Nameless Company). The group was set up by by the brothers Jaap en Gerard Musch.(picture is of Jaap}Jaap.JPG

They were a resistance group dedicated to helping Jewish children find hiding places. Many of the children they helped hide, survived the war. The picture below is a picture of some of the children being a bit brave but cheeky by forming the letters NV in a field, this picture was taken in 1943 while the war was at its height.NV

Unfortunately not everyone was as lucky as these children were.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.

I have come across many pictures of Dutch Jews being killed in death camps or pictures of their remains, and initially my thought was to end this blog with some of those pictures. However I changed my mind, although I do think it is important ti show the horrors of the Holocaust in the graphic ways, we do sometimes forget that the victims weren’t always victims., they were also people like you and me. Therefore below pictures of my  some of my fellow human beings as they were before they were butchered.

Etty Hillesum

Julius Spier and  Evaristos Glassner

julius

Jaap Hillesum brother of Etty on his 21st birthday.

jaap hill

Bram Beem

bram

Eva and  Bram Beem

Eva en Bram

Students of a Jewish secondary school during summer recess in 1940. I don’t know how many ,if any, survived the war.

MULO

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Sources

Joods Monument

Yad Vashem

Nationale Jeugdstorm- The Dutch Hitler Youth.

“Jeugdstorm” boys with Standart Flag

When standing at attention for a long time, once the musical director gives the sign, the horn may be placed under the right arm’ These and other strict instructions applied to playing the Nationale Jeugdstorm (NJS, National Youth Storm) trumpet.

42.-Trompet-Jeugdstorm-1

With the Hitlerjugend  (Hitler Youth Movement) in Germany as their example, the Dutch Nazi Party (NSB) established the NJS, a Dutch youth movement for ten to eighteen year olds. Sports, games and entertainment went hand-in-hand with physical training and preparation for military service.

GEEN CAPTION

National Socialist principles and admiration for Mussert and Hitler were key. Music played an important role, especially to add lustre to the many parades and marches. Practically every chapter had its own band. Just like in the NSB, discipline and obedience ruled. Every member was required to react without delay to different trumpet signals: to rise to one’s feet, to assemble or when a fire broke out. Almost all the youngsters were children of NSB members. During the war, membership in the NJS grew to more than 12,000.

79171-1-2-0-0

Once they reached the age of 18 they seamlessly enrolled into either the Waffen SS or the ” Nederlandse Arbeidsdienst” Dutch labor service.

Arbeidsman

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Anton Mussert-Dutch Fascist

media_xll_1152980

Anton Adriaan Mussert ( 11 May 1894 – 7 May 1946) was one of the founders of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB) and its formal leader. As such, he was the most prominent Dutch fascist before and during World War II. During the war, he was able to keep this position, due to the support he received from the Germans. After the war, he was convicted and executed for high treason.

anton_mussert_arrested_at_korte_vijverberg_street_in_the_hague-_1945

Anton Adriaan Mussert was born in Werkendam, Noord-Brabant, Netherlands. In the 1920s, he became involved in right-wing political movements that advocated a Greater Netherlands by annexing Dutch-speaking neighboring regions. On 14 Dec 1931, he abandoned his profession as a civil engineer and founded the National Socialist Movement political party (Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging), or NSB, along with other like-minded activists such as Cornelis van Geelkerken.

 

A fan of Benito Mussolini, Mussert ruled NSB along a similar model Mussolini had successfully used in Italy. As Italy grew closer to Germany, Mussert grew close to her as well, especially that Adolf Hitler’s vision to annex all German-speaking regions under German rule matched exactly his vision for the Netherlands. In Nov 1936, he met Hitler for the first time, and he remained in communications with Berlin from that point on until 1945.

mussert_hitler_250

His political agenda matched many of Germany’s, though Mussert was careful in not allowing the racism to taint Dutch politics.

800px-musserts_lidmaatschapskaart

A state of siege was declared by the Dutch government in April 1940 after the foreign correspondent for the New York Times, Vladimir Poliakov, spread the false news that Mussert’s followers were preparing to kidnap Queen Wilhelmina as part of a coup.

download

On 10 May, German troops invaded the Netherlands and Mussert was permitted to suppress all political parties other than the NSB.

Mussert was not appointed prime minister of the occupied nation. Instead, Austrian Nazi Artur Seyss-Inquart was appointed as the Reichskommissar, while Berlin summoned Mussert to control his uncooperative countrymen.

Mussert responded by working with the Gestapo in stopping resistance to the German occupation. On 21 June 1940 Mussert agreed to have NSB members train with the SS-Standarte ‘Westland’.

5th_ss_division_logo-svg

On 11 September, Mussert instructed Henk Feldmeijer, to organise the Nederlandsche SS (Dutch SS) as a division of the NSB. Mussert had nothing to do with the raising of an all-Dutch volunteer SS unit, the SS-Freiwilligen-Legion Niederlande. Regardless, thousands of Dutch citizens were arrested.

During the subsequent occupation, over 100,000 Dutch Jews were rounded up and transported to concentration camps in Germany, German-occupied Poland and German-occupied Czechoslovakia. By the time these camps were liberated, few Dutch Jews survived.

 

In February 1941, Mussert agreed and oversaw the formation of the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division Nederland, which trained in Hamburg. In November 1941, the legion was ordered to the Eastern front near Leningrad, under the overall command of Army Group North. The division acquitted itself well alongside its German allies, but suffered large losses.

On 8 December 1941, the independent Dutch administration in the Dutch East Indies declared war on Japan, the ally of Nazi Germany. After the Japanese invasion and occupation and the subsequent internment of 100,000 Dutch civilians and 50,000 military personnel, Mussert requested a meeting with Hitler. On 13 December 1942, Hitler declared Mussert to be “Leider van het Nederlandse Volk” (Leader of the Dutch People).

person_mussert2

Having lost control of the Dutch SS and the military units that were serving in the Wehrmacht to his Nazi masters, Mussert had his last meeting with Hitler in May 1943, where he was told that he would never have political control. Following the unsuccessful Operation Market Garden in September 1944, that included a supporting strike by Dutch railway workers, the German authorities forbade food transport by rail, resulting in the Hongerwinter of 1944/45, during which 20,000 died.

ondervoed_kindje_hongerwinter

https://dirkdeklein.net/2016/05/25/hunger-winter-the-dutch-famine/

By the end of the war, 205,901 Dutch men and women had died. The Netherlands had the highest per capita death rate of all German-occupied countries in Western Europe, 2.36%.Another 30,000 died in the Dutch East Indies, either while fighting the Japanese or in camps as Japanese POWs. Dutch civilians were held in those camps as well.

Upon the surrender of Germany, Mussert was arrested at the NSB office in The Hague on 7 May 1945. He was convicted of high treason on 28 November after a two-day trial, and was sentenced to death on 12 December. He appealed to Queen Wilhelmina for clemency. She refused. On 7 May 1946, exactly one year after his arrest and four days before his 52nd birthday, Mussert was executed by a firing squad on the Waalsdorpervlakte, a site near The Hague, where hundreds of Dutch citizens had been killed by the Nazi regime.

executie

 

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