First of all let me tell you I am Dutch and I am proud to be Dutch. I love the country where I was born and where I grew up.
But I am not proud of some of its black pages in history.
I can understand why some Dutch bureaucrats and civil servants colluded with the German occupiers, most of them did this for self preservation. I understand it but I will never condone it.
This may sound like a contradiction but what happened after the war I can’t comprehend but yet I can understand. I can’t comprehend it because of the sheer ignorance and stupidity , but I can understand because of my personal dealings I had in the past with the Dutch civil service.
After the war some local authorities, and especially the authorities of the bigger cities like Amsterdam and the Hague, imposed fines on on hundreds of Jewish Holocaust survivors.
The City of Amsterdam collected several Million guilders(an equivalent of about $10 million) from Holocaust survivors who were charged ground lease fees for periods they spent in hiding or in concentration camps. Many of the houses in question were used by Nazi occupation officers and local collaborates, The Amsterdam authorities pursued Holocaust survivors for missed payments as late as 1947 and imposed fines on them for missing payments.
This is typically something some Dutch civil servants.or rather ignorant pencil pushers, would do. Not looking outside the box, just at the books or the accounts and vigorously pursuing payments regardless of what the history was behind it.
In 2014 the Mayor of Amsterdam,van der Laan, a son of resistance fighters asked NIOD (the Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies) to research the cases.
Some of the money has since been reimbursed.
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The Times of Israel
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