A German in the Dutch Army in World War II

The picture above was taken on 30 October 1941. It is clear to me that it was taken for propaganda purposes. It is Prince Bernhard, who was the husband of the Dutch Crown Princess, handing Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands a check for the purchase of torpedo boats.

Prince Bernhard married Princess Juliana in The Hague on 7 January 1937. Earlier, Bernhard had been granted Dutch citizenship. He was a German-born nobleman.He was the elder son of Prince Bernhard von Lippe and Baroness Armgard von Sierstorpff-Cramm

He had been a member of the “Reiter-SS,” a mounted unit of the SS and had joined the Nazi party before the war. He later also joined the National Socialist Motor Corps.

Various members of his family and friends were aligned with the Nazis before the second world war, and a number of them attended the royal wedding. Protocol demanded that the prospective Prince-Consort be invited to an audience with his head of state, who at the time was Adolf Hitler. Hitler gave an account of the conversation he had with Bernhard in his Tischgespräche (Table Conversations). This book was a collection of monologues, remarks, and speeches Hitler gave during lunch or dinner to those he had invited.

Bernard cut off relations with those members of his family who were enthusiastic Nazis. As a sign of his “Dutchness”, near the end of the war, he spoke only Dutch when negotiating the surrender of German forces in the Netherlands.

After taking his family to safety in England (May 12, 1940), he immediately returned to lead Dutch troops in battle against the Germans; after the Dutch Army surrendered on May 14, 1940, he fled to England with the remnants of his troops.

According to Erik Hazelhoff Roelfzema, Soldier of Orange, “For Bernhard, the Prince of the Netherlands, the war was a frustrating business. Born a German, he had married Queen Wilhelmina’s only child, Princess Juliana. In due time made a conscious and meaningful transition of loyalties to his new homeland, because of the doubts about his background, initially invoked among some Britons, he longed more than anyone for a chance to get at Holland’s aggressors.”

After being appointed, in August 1940, a captain in the Dutch navy and a colonel in the army, Prince Bernhard assumed increased responsibilities and, by 1944, as commander of the Netherlands Forces of the Interior, he directed all Dutch armed forces. Also serving as a Dutch liaison officer with the British armed forces, Bernhard became a pilot and flew with the Royal Air Force (1942–44).

In 1944 Queen Wilhelmina appointed him Supreme Commander of the Netherlands Armed Forces and the Netherlands Forces of the Interior (the military resistance). In September 1945 the Prince was honourably discharged from these posts and, at the same time, appointed Inspector-General of the Royal Netherlands Army. For his services during the Second World War, Prince Bernhard was awarded the highest military decoration – the Cross of Commander of the Military Order of William – in 1946. For his achievements as a pilot on active service, he received the Flying Cross. In 1984 he was awarded the Resistance Cross.

The role of his mother-in-law during the war was to say at least questionable. On May 4 2020, the current Dutch King Willem Alexander acknowledged that his grandmother could and should have done more for the Dutch citizens, although he did not say it directly he was clearly implying the treatment of the Dutch Jews.

“Fellow people felt abandoned, insufficiently heard, insufficiently supported, if only with words. Also from London, also by my great-grandmother, still steadfast and fierce in her resistance. It is something that will not let me go.”

sources

https://www.royal-house.nl/members-royal-house/in-memoriam/prince-bernhard/public-appointments

https://www.trouw.nl/binnenland/over-het-zwijgen-van-wilhelmina-wat-de-koning-bedoelde-met-de-uitspraak-over-zijn-overgrootmoeder~be544078/?referrer=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.ie%2F

https://www.britannica.com/biography/Bernhard-prince-of-the-Netherlands-prince-of-Lippe-Biesterfeld

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Stealing from Dutch Jewish citizens.

The Holocaust wasn’t only the mass murder of Jews, and others, it was preceded by other crimes. Although many people would not have perceived them as crimes because they were legalised by Nazi laws.

The rapacity of the Nazis was expressed in a large number of measures, orders and ordinances (VO) with the force of law. A number of ordinances were explicitly intended for Jews and pertained to all forms of property.

The most important regulations for Jews were the so-called Liro Regulations of 1941 and 1942. The first Liro Regulation (VO 148/41) was issued on 8 August 1941. The ordinance stipulated, among other things, that Jews had to transfer their cash assets and securities to an account to be opened at the Liro bank in the Sarphatistraat in Amsterdam. On paper, the Liro bank was a branch of the renowned bank Lippmann, Rosenthal and Co. on the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat in Amsterdam. In practice, the Liro bank was a ‘robbery bank’ that served as a depository and sales office for looted Jewish property. Wealth less than 10,000 guilders and incomes less than 3000 guilders per year were exempt. An amount of 1000 guilders per month was freely disposable per person. In theory, the Jews could dispose of their assets, but in practice regulations and high commission costs resulted in them losing their assets.

The bank was originally a Jewish owned bank.

The Lippmann Rosenthal bank was well known. It was a reliable and solid company. When the war broke out, the company had been in existence for 81 years and the Nazis made good use of the bank’s good reputation.
The idea to use this company as a robbery bank came about because the Nazis thought that the Jews would take their valuables more quickly to a well-known Jewish bank. In addition, in this way the stolen shares could be offered for sale on the stock market without any problems.

Jews who ended up in Camp Westerbork had to hand over their last money (the 250 guilders they were allowed to keep) to a local branch of the bank.To complete the expropriation, Lippmann and Rosenthal had opened a branch in Camp Westerbork, where everything that people had tried to hide on the body, including expensive coats and shoes, was forcibly taken away.

The money from the Liro bank was used, among other things, for the deportation of Jews from the Netherlands. The bank made 11 million guilders available for the expansion and operation of transit camp Westerbork; 26 million for the construction and operation of the Vught . concentration camp.

The staff of the company Lippmann, Rosenthal and Co in their residential barracks in Westerbork.

The number of staff at the Lippmann, Rosenthal & Co Sarphatistraat bank gives some idea of ​​the scale at which the robbery was carried out. At the time of the 1st LiRo Regulation, the bank had 268 employees, 160 of whom worked in the banking section. The staff doubled in 1942 (510) and fell back to 299 in 1943. The original core of the staff came from the real bank on Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. At the end of 1941, this staff was convened and informed by director Fuld that some of them would be transferred to the bank on Sarphati Street. Fuld couldn’t give details at the time because he didn’t know them either. What was certain was that the banking business would be handled on Sarphati Street. Fuld advised the staff to comply with this order because the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat had already been placed under German authority and therefore its continued existence was not certain. The staff who would go to Sarphati Street would at least be sure of their jobs. On August 1, 1941, 27 employees moved from Nieuwe Spiegelstraat to Sarphatistraat.

Dilemmas are often encountered during World War 2. People made choices and ended up on the right or wrong side of a dividing line. A line which was often blurred.
An example of this was the director of human resources, Kurt Victor Karl Mulisch. He was appointed by the Nazis and collaborated with them. He was divorced from his Jewish wife Alice Schwarz in 1936 and his work at the Lirobank saved her life and that of his son, the writer Harry Mulisch. Alice’s parents and grandparents were murdered in the concentration camps. Kurt Mulisch was convicted of collaboration after the war. He was jailed for three years in the Lloyd Hotel, which was used as detention centre.

It wasn’t only money but art was also taken.In 2015, the provenance investigation of the Royal Collections] revealed that the painting The Hague Forest with a view of Huis ten Bosch Palace by Joris van der Haagen ended up with the Dutch Royal House via the Liro in 1960. Queen Juliana then bought it from an art dealer. She would not have known about the robbery. After the painting’s history became clear, the Royal House contacted the heirs of the original Jewish owner, pre-war art collector, to return the painting.

sources

http://www.oorlogsgetroffenen.nl/thema/rechtsherstel/01_Roof_ten_tijde_van_de_bezetting

https://www.niod.nl/en/collections/image-bank-ww2

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/thema/Registratie%20van%20Joodse%20bezittingen%20bij%20Lippmann%20Rosenthal%20en%20co.

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Marie Davidson-Wallach murdered April 9,1945.

Marie Davidson-Wallach was one of the 8 Dutch Jews who were murdered on April 9, 1945. Now some people will dispute this . They will say that she probably just died because of disease our malnourishment. The fact is that she was forcibly taken from her house, transported to more then one camp, against her will where she eventually died in one of them, to me that makes it murder.

What makes it even sadder is that so little is know about Marie, but the thing that drew my attention to her is the notification of the Red Cross.

It says: “We have been advised by our Lisbon Delegate that the parcel(s) addresses as under in your behalf has/have been returned owing to the addressee(s) having gone away without leaving a new address .

As the content of the parcel, on its receipt in Lisbon were found, owing to its length of time in transit, to be not fit anymore for consumption, we regret we are unable to make you any allowance in this instance”

I don’t know the date of the document but it is reasonable to assume it was sent, while the Dutch Royal family were still in exile in the UK , because it was issued by the Netherland Red Cross with then crown princess HRH Juliana as president of the organisation.

One might think that the notification is a fair note, but it is not. The address mentioned ,Zuider Amstellaan 57 huis, Amsterdam, was the address of Marie’s parents. The note says ‘having gone away without leaving a new address’ who have wrote that must have known that they were forced out of their house, they did not leave voluntarily.

Marie married Jaap Davidson on March 31,1942 . The marriage ceremony took place at Marie’s parents’ house. There was no party or reception.

On September 4,1944 Marie was deported to Theresiënstadt. I am not sure if she had been in a transit camp like Westerbork prior to that, but it is safe to presume she had. On the transport there were another 653 people , Walter Suskind, a German Jew who helped about 600 Jewish children escape the Holocaust, was one of them.

I don’t know when Marie was deported to Bergen Belsen, but it is there were she found her untimely death on April 9,1945 by an evil regime that had not deemed her worthy to live.

She was born in Amsterdam, on the 8th of February 1920, she was aged 25 when she died.

I don’t know what happened to her husband, but I know her parents survived the war.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/153799/marie-davidson-wallach

https://www.oorlogsbronnen.nl/tijdlijn/Marie-Davidson-Wallach/02/32507

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The abdication of a Queen.

Wilhelmina

On 4 September 1948, after a reign of 58 years, Wilhelmina abdicated in favour of her daughter Juliana, because of advancing age and declining health. The abdication meant that she would henceforth be known as addressed as “Her Royal Highness Princess Wilhelmina of the Netherlands”

She had been inaugurated as Queen aged 18 on September 6 1898.Technically she had been Queen since 1890, after the death of her Father ,King William III. But since she was only 10 at the time her mother,Queen Emma served as regent until Wilhelimina turned 18. Therefore technically her reign was for 58 years even though the first 8 years her Mother reigned in her stead.

Wilhelmina queen

During World War II she took charge of the Dutch government in exile,in the UK. On  August 5, 1942 She addressed the U.S. Congress and was the first queen to do so.

cONGRESS

In the night of 20/21 February 1944 she was nearly killed during Operation Steinbock, sometimes referred to as Baby Blitz, by a bomb that took the lives of two  of her staff and severely damaged her country home near South Mimms in England.

Junker

She was not a great fan of  politicians, instead stating a love for the people. When the Netherlands was liberated in 1945 she was disappointed to see the same political factions taking power as before the war.

Following the end of World War II, she made the decision not to return to her palace but to move into a mansion in The Hague, where she stayed for eight months. She traveled throughout the Netherlands to motivate people, sometimes using a bicycle instead of a car. But in 1947, as  the country was still recovering from  the woes of World War II, the revolt in the oil-rich Dutch East Indies saw sharp criticism of the Queen by the Dutch economic elite.

Around the same time, her  health started failing , forcing her to  temporarily cede her monarchial duties to Juliana at the end of 1947 (14 October tto 1 December). At that stage she already contemplated abdication, but Juliana convinced  her to stay on for the stability of the nation, urging her to stay on the throne until 1950 so she could celebrate her diamond jubilee. Wilhelmina had the intention of doing just that , but unfortunately exhaustion forced her to relinquish  duties as a monarch  to Juliana again on 12 May 1948. The timing wasn’t great  as it left Juliana to deal with the early elections caused by the demand for  independence by the Indonesian colonies.

Dismayed by the return to pre-war politics and the pending loss of Indonesia, Wilhelmina abdicated on 4 September 1948.

abdication

During the last years of her life  she wrote her autobiography entitled Eenzaam, maar niet alleen (Lonely but Not Alone), in which she gave account of the events in her life, and revealed her strong religious feelings and motivations.

Wilhelmina died in Het Loo Palace at the age of 82 on 28 November 1962.

 

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Royal Gas proof Baby Buggies.

1.-Gasvrije-kinderwagen1

As the threat of war increased in Europe in August 1939, the Dutch army was placed at a heightened state of alertness. In early 1940, as a precautionary measure, the firm of Kiekens built two gasproof baby buggies as protection against the possibility of a poisonous attack. This one for the then two-year-old Dutch Princess Beatrix and another for her younger sister Princess Irene.

1.-beneden-NIOD-944182

On 12 May, two days after the German invasion, Princess Juliana and Prince Bernhard fled with their two baby daughters to the harbour town of IJmuiden ,in the Netherlands, in a bulletproof car An English warship was waiting there to take them to safety. A day later, Queen Wilhelmina and the Dutch government also arrived safely ashore in Great Britain. The gasproof buggies remained behind in the Netherlands.

Royal Pram Pusher

gasVrIje kInderWagen