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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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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Sinterklaas -(Dutch St Nicholas)in WWII

The photo was shot during wartime, 6 December 1944

sinterklaas-sherman-tank

(Sinterklaas, St-Nicholas in the Netherlands and Belgium, arrives in Rucphen, a town near Roosendaal (The Netherlands). Normally Sinterklaas arrives on a white horse but this he uses a Sherman-tank.)

sinterklaas_groningen_2015

Sinterklaas or Sint-Nicolaas is a mythical figure with legendary, historical and folkloric origins based on Saint Nicholas(He is the primary source of the popular Christmas icon of Santa Claus). Other names for the figure include De Sint (“The Saint”), De Goede Sint (“The Good Saint”), and De Goedheiligman (“The Good Holy Man”)

Nowadays this mythical figure is causing a bit of controversy with the Political Correct brigade, they claim this MYTHICAL figure and his MYTHICAL servant, who happens to be black is promoting racism and glorifying slavery, the point they are forgetting is they are mythical .It is basically the equivalent of saying that Santa Claus is  exploiting small people and is  guilty of child labor.But I am not going to focus on that but rather on the WWII era.

Sinterklaas is celebrated annually with the giving of gifts on 5 December, the night before Saint Nicholas Day in the Northern Netherlands and on the morning of 6 December, Saint Nicholas Day itself, in the (Roman Catholic) southern provinces, Belgium, Luxembourg and Northern France (French Flanders, Lorraine and Artois). He is also well known in territories of the former Dutch Empire, including Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, and Suriname.

During the German occupation of the Netherlands (1940–1945) many of the traditional Sinterklaas rhymes were rewritten to reflect current events.

968f5a2b2073859b00a6dbf636baf4c1

 

he Royal Air Force (RAF) was often celebrated. In 1941, for instance, the RAF dropped boxes of candy over the occupied Netherlands.

9137713_f260

One classical poem turned contemporary was the following:

original
Sinterklaas, kapoentje,
Gooi wat in mijn schoentje,
Gooi wat in mijn laarsje,
Dank U Sinterklaasje
which became the contemporary version
R.A.F. Kapoentje,
Gooi wat in mijn schoentje,
Bij de Moffen gooien,
Maar in Holland strooien!
translations
original
Sinterklaas, little capon,
Throw something in my little shoe,
Throw something in my little boot,
Thank you Sinterklaas
R.A.F. version
R.A.F. Little Capon,
throw something in my little shoe
throw [bombs] at the Krauts
but scatter [candy] in Holland!

This is a variation of one of the best-known traditional Sinterklaas rhymes, with “R.A.F.” replacing “Sinterklaas” in the first line (the two expressions have the same metrical characteristics in the first and second, and in the third and fourth lines). The Dutch word kapoentje (little rascal) is traditional to the rhyme, but in this case it also alludes to a capon. The second line is straight from the original rhyme, but in the third and fourth line the RAF is encouraged to drop bombs on the Moffen (slur for Germans, like “krauts” in English) and candy over the Netherlands. Many of the Sinterklaas poems of this time noted the lack of food and basic necessities, and the German occupiers having taken everything of value; others expressed admiration for the Dutch Resistance.

sinterklaas-solder-1

Originally Sinterklaas was only accompanied with one (or sometimes two) Zwarte Pieten, but just after the liberation of the Netherlands, Canadian soldiers organized a Sinterklaas party with many Zwarte Pieten, and ever since this has been the custom, each Piet normally having his own dedicated task.

b2dweyciqaemauf

The arrival of Sinreklaas has always been a big event in the Dutch Christmas time celebrations,ever since the first arrival in Venray in 1888 it has been a major event.

sfa008003546

However during the war years these arrival events were organized by National Socialist organizations like “Winterhulp” and “Nationale Jeugdstorm” from the NSB,basically the Dutch equivalent of the Hitler Youth.

hqdefault

He didn’t always look like a jolly man during the war years this picture was taken in 1940. his 2 servants are in some sort of uniform so I reckon this arrival may not have been authorized by the NSB.

reek_-_horror_sinterklaas_liggend

It is sad to see that currently some people want to destroy what is basically a joyful event for children. In the darkest of days during WWII it would have given some hope and some sense of normality to the children,even when some of it was organized by the Dutch National Socialist Party

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