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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Ans van Dijk-Jewish Nazi collaborator

ans_van_dijk

One thing I find hard to comprehend is the collaboration of Jews with the Nazis. On one hand I can understand that they did this because of self preservation, it is a human instinct to survive at any cost, but on the other hand they must have seen the fate of their friends and families. They must have figured out at some stage that Hitler was only interested in the complete annihilation of every Jew on the planet.

The victims that became traitors.

Anna (Ans) van Dijk (Amsterdam, December 24, 1905 – Weesperkarspel, January 14, 1948) was a Dutch-Jewish collaborator who betrayed Jews to Nazi Germany during World War II. She was the only Dutch woman to be executed over her wartime activities.

She was the daughter of Jewish parents, Aron van Dijk and Kaatje Bin. She married Bram Querido in 1927, and opened a millinery shop called Maison Evany in Amsterdam.Her Father died in 1939 in the Psychiatric hospital ,Het Apeldoornse Bos.

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He had suffered from paranoia.Shortly afterwards Ans divorced her husband.After the marriage ended, she began a lesbian relationship with a Jewish woman named Miep Stodel, who had worked for her in the shop.

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The shop was closed by the Nazis in 1941 as part of their seizure of Jewish property (Jews were forbidden to own businesses or work in retail shops).After that she died her hair blonde and acquired false identity papers and changed her name to Alphonsia Maria (Annie) de Jong  Stodel fled to Switzerland in 1942.

Ans started selling goods from Jewish real estate and helped Jews to find hiding places.In January 1943 she had to go in hiding herself.

Van Dijk was arrested on Easter Sunday 1943 by the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) and detective Peter Schaap of the Office of Jewish Affairs of the Amsterdam police.

peterschaap

 

After promising to work for the SD, van Dijk was released. Pretending to be a member of the resistance, she offered to help Jews find hiding places and obtain false papers. In this way, she trapped at least 145 people (including her own brother and his family). Some 85 of her victims later died in concentration camps.She may have been responsible for the deaths of as many as 700 people.

After the war, she moved to The Hague, where she was arrested at a friend’s home on June 20, 1945, and charged with 23 counts of treason. On February 24, 1947, she was brought to the Special Court in Amsterdam.

dijkansvan

She confessed on all counts, explaining that she only acted out of self-preservation, and was sentenced to death.

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She appealed the conviction, but in September 1947 the Special Court of Appeals confirmed her punishment. Her request for a royal pardon was also rejected by Queen Wilhelmina.

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On 14 January 1948 she was executed by firing squad at Fort Bijlmer in the then municipality Weesperkarspel (now the Bijlmermeer municipality of Amsterdam). The night before her execution she was baptized and joined the Roman Catholic Church.

ans-van-dijk-executie

She had written several goodbye letters the one below was sent to the Nun who had visited her in jail, after she had asked for roman catholic rehabilitation work. In the letter she tells the nun that she had been baptized and she would be receiving her 1st holy communion.

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