Monday, 5 May 2014

More about the Holocaust in the Netherlands

After my moral story of yesterday, some more on the Holocaust in the Netherlands as today my country celebrates its liberation 69 years ago.

Below are five 15 minute online talks on the Holocaust given by my former colleague Bart van den Boom, assistant professor at the University of Leiden. He's written a very important book on the Dutch reaction to the persecution of Jews, for which he was awarded a major historical book prize. It also sparked lively debate, because the Netherlands saw the highest level of deportation, and thus the death, of its Jewish population of all occupied countries.

The book argues that because (most) people didn't know that transport to the east meant instant death in most cases, the Jews often chose transport over the perils of hiding (where the consequences of being found were well known to be severe). It also meant that the non-Jewish population didn't offer as much help and put up as much resistance as they might have otherwise.

Van den Boom bases much of his argument on a study of 160 wartime diaries by Jewish and non-Jewish Dutch.

I'm sorry that these talks are only available in Dutch.

The first part asks whether the Holocaust was an act long in planning or an improvisation

The second part deals with the question why so many Germans cooperated in the Holocaust.

The third part talks about the attitude of ordinary Dutch towards the persecution of the Jews

In the fourth part van den Boom deals with the reasons behind the high rate of Jews that were deported from the Netherlands. Using new research, like the book by Griffioen and Zeller, comparing the reaction and resistance to the Holocaust in the Netherlands to that in France and Belgium.

The fifth part question whether ordinary Dutch (both Jewish and non-Jewish) knew about the Holocaust

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