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

Café Alcazar Amsterdam

On 9 February 1941. members of the Dutch Nazi party, NSB, assisted by German soldiers, forced their way into the café-cabaret ‘Alcazar’ on Thorbeckeplein because Jewish artists were still performing there. This led to a brawl in which 23 people were injured.

Clara de Vries was a jazz trumpet player. Her performing at Cabaret Alcazar was one of the reasons that prompted the Nazis to raid Alcazar. A law had passed previously, forbidding all Jewish musicians and artists to perform in Non Jewish clubs.

Clara was a well accomplished Jazz trumpetist, and by all accounts an exceptionally talented one. Louis Armstrong once said of her “That Louis de Vries, he had a sister Clara with a ladies-band. Oh boy, she could play that horn!” Her brother Louis, another Trumpetist, was often referred to as the Dutch Louis Armstrong. Clara was murdered in Auschwitz on October 22,1942.

The February 9 incident led to the riots of 11 February in which the Dutch Nazi ,Hendrik Koot, was severely injured and led to his death a few days later on February 14,1941.

The response was immediate. The Jewish neighborhood was sealed off by Nazi authorities, technically beginning the Amsterdam ghetto,[and a Judenrat was put in place. Protests broke out, and the raid on an ice cream parlor, a known hangout for a Jewish knokploeg, saw Nazi police forces being attacked in retaliation, possibly sprayed with acid. The Nazis decided to round up a large number of Jewish men, and that gave the local Communist resistance groups an opportunity to agitate the population enough to start a strike, and widespread strikes started the following Tuesday, 25 February. Dutch police response was moderate, and the Nazi authorities were not pleased . Troops were sent in to break the strike, and posters explaining the death of Koot were put up in an attempt to justify military action.

Café Alcazar, however, had also been a hiding places for 14 Jewish people.

In 1983, during the renovation of a nightclub on the Thorbeckeplein, a film that had been made there forty years ago surfaced. The film wascalled Duikjoodbasis,(Jewish hiding place) and the screenplay was written by the then thirteen-year-old Henry Robinski. It was made with and by the fourteen Jews who were in hiding above the nightclub Alcazar until May 28, 1943. Hendrik Swaab, who conceived the idea for the film in 1943, said in 1983 in the NIW(New Israeli Weekly) that the reason for making the film was boredom.

Making a film would give the people in hiding some distraction. The film was shot between July 1942 and April 1943 and was shot by a resistance member who had worked for a film company before the war.

Now Duikjoodbasis is unique: no other film recordings are known that were made at a hiding place.

sources

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/nl/page/457142/initiatiefnemer-film-duikjoodbasis

https://portal.ehri-project.eu/units/nl-002896-mf759708

https://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn1004588

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

Happy Birthday Anne Frank

Dear Anne, today you would have turned 93, but we all know the history why that didn’t happen.

Some of that history is written in the diary you received on your 13th birthday, June 12 1942.So many people have read that diary, your private thoughts laid bare for the world to see. But I am sure you would not have minded that because aside it being a diary, it is also a historical record. You made sure of that because you could see and hear what was happening around you. You also heeded the call of the exiled Dutch government for people to record as much as they could.

What some people don’t realize if the Nazis would not have got to power, your diary would have looked so much different, it wouldn’t even have been written in Dutch but German, Because if the Nazis had not got to power your parents would not have had to move. Your German diary would have told a different story. The story about a different kind of anxiety. The anxiety of a regular teenage girl. Her first dance, her first kiss and perhaps even of the first time having sex with a boyfriend. The anxiety of seeing each other naked for the first time, and maybe how you blushed the first time he touched your breasts and you touched his penis. Who knows, what would be in that diary? I am not saying this to be disrespectful, far from it, like any other girl you deserved that level of intimacy but you were denied it. But your German diary would have been just that, a diary, only for you to read.

People call you an author. But you weren’t you were just a girl who had the endure something no girl should have to endure.

And like any other girl you had friends.

Lucia “Lucie” van Dijk , a Christian friend from the Montessori school. Lucie’s mother was an adamant member of the NSB,the Dutch Nazi party, until the end of the war, but Lucie’s disillusioned father left the party in 1942. You were shocked when the van Dijks became party members, but your dad ,Otto, patiently explained to her that they could still be good people even if they had distasteful politics.

Rie “Ietje” Swillens was another good friend of yours all the way through Montessori school.

Nanette Blitz Konig who was born on April 6, 1929 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. just a few months older then you. A friend and a class mate . You were in the same class at the Jewish Lyceum.

Like your family ,the Blitz family was arrested and taken to the Westerbork transit camp and from there were deported to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. It was Nannette that reunited you with your sister Margot, in Bergen Belsen. However Nanette survived the war and the Holocaust. She now lives in Brazil.

Then there was another Nanette ; Nanette van Praag Sigaar.

You were also in the same class at the Jewish Lyceum, in Amsterdam. You even wrote about her in your diary. You said “Nannie is a funny, tiny, clever girl. I like her. She is smart.” What you didn’t know is that Nannie was murdered in Auschwitz on November 5,1942, just a few months after you received your diary as a birthday gift.

Your 13th birthday gift is now a gift to us all. Not just a gift but also a stark reminder of what humans are capable of doing to other humans.

You would have been 92 today. Nowadays you may have been famous as one of the first people being vaccinated against the Covid 19 virus. But you were killed by a much worse virus, hate.

Happy Birthday Anne, or rather Van Harte Gefeliciteerd.

sources

https://www.annefrank.org/en/anne-frank/

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/569313/uit-het-dagboek-van-anne-frank

https://www.geni.com/people/Nanette-van-Praag-Sigaar/6000000047467779849

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm5235152/bio

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

 

Dolle Dinsdag-Mad Tuesday-September 5,1944.

Dinsdag

Reporting the news accurately is important at any given time. Reporting it accurately during wartime when tensions are high is vital, if you fail to do so it can create false expectations and can potentially cost lives.

On Tuesday September 5th 1944, the Dutch  Prime Minister Gerbrandy announced via the Radio Oranje  that the allied army had crossed the border and Breda had been liberated. In fact he had announced it twice initially on September 4th at 23:45 and then again inhe morning of September 5th. The BBC had picked up the announcement too.

Premier

The  information was totally inaccurate, but the Dutch expected the Allied army to be in Rotterdam the same day. The Germans panicked, their army fled North and East in the Netherlands.

Germans

The news spread fast, with underground newspapers preparing headlines announcing the “fall of Breda”

The Nazi leadership Arthur Seyss-Inquart and Hanns Albin Rauter, SS and police leader added to the  speculation by announcing a “State of Siege” for the Netherlands to the 300,000 cable radio listeners.

“The population must maintain order … it is strictly forbidden to flee areas that are threatened by the enemy. All orders from the military commanders must be strictly adhered to and without question … any resistance to the occupation forces will be suppressed with force of weaponry. Any attempt to fraternize with the enemy or to hinder the German Reich and its allies in any form will be dealt with harshly; perpetrators will be shot”

The Dutch did not heed the warning  and went out and celebrated on the streets while preparing to welcome and cheer on the Allied liberators. Dutch and Orange flags and pennants were prepared, and many workers left their place of employment to wait for the Allies to arrive.

vlag

Some kids even took down German road signs.

kids

German occupation forces and NSB members got in a panic .documents were destroyed and many fled the Netherlands for Germany.

Many of the NSB fled temporarily to  the Lüneburger Heide in Germany .While the NSB leader .Mussert , moved more eastward to Almelo. The illegal newspaper “Het Parool” reported on the 11th of September on how these NSB”Heroes” fled the country.

Parool

Luckily there were no fatal casualties as a result of this, among the general Dutch population, although a few celebrants were shot and others were arrested.

The day after however, on September 6 a train carrying wives and children of members of the NSB headed for Germany. The train was attacked by allied planes and about 30 passengers were killed. I do feel sorry for the wives and especially the children for they were innocent bystanders  but I do also believe this was karma, and the irony is not lost on me for the NSB had helped to put so many Jews and other on trains to their final destinations.

The name ‘Dolle Dinsdag’ was coined by Willem van den Hout, alias Willem W. Waterman, who first used it in the Dutch Nazi  propaganda newspaper ‘de Gil’ (the yel) which was funded by the German propaganda department.

De Gil

The whole confusion of ‘Dolle Dinsdag’ had come about because of one word. Before the radio broadcast , Prime Minister Gerbrandy had changed the text from ‘the allies approached the border’ to ‘crossed the border’

It would take another 9 days before Maasticht would be liberated, which was the first major Dutch city to be liberated by allied troops.

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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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