The strike of February 1941, one of the few spontaneous mass protests in German-occupied Europe, expressed the Dutch revulsion at Nazi repression and persecution of the Jews. This does not mean every Dutchman was a friend of the Jews, merely that they did not like German interference in domestic affairs. The well-known slogan, Keep your dirty hands off our dirty Jews, expresses this sentiment aptly.The slogan is indeed well-known, but documentary corroboration in regard to protective Dutch attitudes towards their vuile Joden is hard to come by. I recall a denial of this slogan as apocryphal in a symposium published in Harper’s Magazine around 1993. Can anyone corroborate it or cite similar slogans elsewhere?
Crossposted to linguaphiles and history.
Fifty years later Holland still struggles with that past. One might say that the crime of the Nazis has not only been the murder of the Jews, but also creating the so-called survivors’ guilt. This is the feeling among survivors that they had not done enough to try and save their families; the nightmare that the second generation only lives to replace the others, that they are only surrogates, that those others, the murdered ones, deserved life more than they themselves. Holland is different from other countries occupied by the Nazis in that it is very aware of how much it has been found wanting. How was it possible that the long tradition of tolerance and forbearance was discarded so easily? How was it possible that countrymen were expelled who had lived peacefully in the same country for generations?Wikipedia gives the actual numbers of Jewish lives lost in Holland and their documentary sources.
OK, 75%, not 90%.
I should have looked it up before commenting. 75% means about 30,000 more Dutch (and German-Dutch) Jews survived than I thought. That is a big difference -- and no, I am not being sarcastic this time.
Thanks for the link and the quotation.