A Time Table of Dutch Regrets

Dutch Railways and Dutch Police, as well as Dutch Bureaucrats willingly collaborated with the German Nazi occupiers of the Netherlands (1940-1945), in the betrayal of Dutch Jews.

Even after peace returned, in May 1945, the new Dutch Government showed every sign of being controlled by anti-Semites. NO empathy was shown to surviving Jews and this continued for many years.

It has taken: 

75 Years (2020) Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, on 26 January, FINALLY made an official apology for the lack of action by the then Dutch Government (1940-45) in protecting its Jewish citizens during the Holocaust. No previous Dutch government had ever apologised but they all gave plenty of excuses.

75 years (2020) Requests for compensation for assets, homes, bank deposits, insurance policy claims will terminate. The Dutch bureaucracy has never made it easy for survivors or their relatives to make a claim and the equivalent of millions of Euros are still unclaimed in government vaults.

74 years (2019) Dutch Railways commence (November) paying compensation. Only living survivors (about 500-600 still alive) or the living wife/children of Jews deported by Dutch railways are eligible to claim compensation.

73 years (2018) for Dutch Railways to came clean and announce a compensation plan for Jews. Roma and Sinti communities. The 5000 Jews that did survive the NS rail journey to concentration camps have never received an apology, from Dutch Railways or the Dutch Government.

72 years (2017) for the Hague City Council to admit wrongdoing for the way Council conducted its affairs from 1940-1945.

69 years (2014) for Amsterdam City Council to acknowledge wrongdoing in charging Jews interest for late payment of city tax, during the time they were in concentration camps or had already been murdered.

55 years (2000) to acknowledge the payment of restitution for looted Jewish assets.

28 years (1973) to introduce a victim compensation system called; WUV.

* * *

Until 26 January 2020 the Dutch were the only Western European government, which had never apologised, for their bureaucrats’ complicity with the German occupiers of Holland and for its lack of empathy after 1945 towards the 5000 Dutch Holocaust survivors.

March 2009, the then Dutch Prime Minister Balkenende, reply to my question:

“Why no Dutch Government has ever apologised to surviving Dutch Jews.”

Response from PM Balkenende with no Apology

‘The Netherlands government recognises completely — looking back with the knowledge through the eyes of today — that there was too much formality, bureaucracy and most of all the lack of compassion in making right what happened in the past. Therefore, the then government in 2000 did express regret and remorse to the individuals who had suffered during this period, without excusing the wrongdoing by the individuals who had the responsibility at that time.’


Minister van Algemene Zaken

Mr. dr. J.P.Balkenende

* * *

Extract from my letter to Dutch Prime Minister Rutte, delivered personally, by mutual friend, in January 2018

“I have also attached some extracts from the chapter in my book entitled “Dutch Bureaucracy”, examples from my book why I believe the Dutch government owes the few surviving Dutch born Jews, an apology for the manner they were treated.

Every western European country has issued an official, on the record, apology to their Surviving Jewish citizens. Nederland never has!

I clearly understand why it would be difficult for any current Dutch government to say “WE ARE SORRY” without a caveat in this apology regarding compensation claims. But I am sure that a properly worded apology should be able to avoid opening a Pandora claims box.

Myself as well as the very few Dutch born Holocaust survivors still alive, are long overdue to receive a full open and on the record apology.”

As one of the youngest Dutch Holocaust survivors still alive, I would like the Dutch Government to show some empathy as well as courage and APOLOGISE to the few Dutch Holocaust survivors still alive.

All I want is an apology before I die!


* * *

RESPONSE from PM Rutte with no Apology

Dear Mr. Boas,

Recently your letter was passed on to me by…………… Your personal experiences relating to the second world war

and those of your parents, brother and other relatives, are deeply touching. They demonstrate that our present time and the future are and will remain deeply influenced by the events of the second world war. In speeches I have drawn attention to the lessons to be learned from the Holocaust and its origins, including combatting anti-Semitism in our times. More specifically you have pointed out several flaws and shortcomings on the Dutch side, including some directly relating to you and your family. The Dutch government and local government in Amsterdam, The Hague and other places have at different times, on different occasions and within different contexts seriously tried to find answers and words and provide funds to compensate.

It was sad to learn that belated post-war efforts to come to terms with the legacy of wartimes contributed to your concerns and pain. I sincerely wish to make clear to you this was not intended and is to be deeply regretted. Your personal history as a survivor has impressed me and 1 thank you for sharing this and bringing it to my attention.

De Minister-President,

 Minister van Algemene Zaken

Mark Rutte

Both Prime Ministers made plenty of excuses but NEVER said SORRY.

* * *

FINALLY on 26 January 2020, Prime Minister Rutte: APPOLOGISED.

He said;

“ I apologise on behalf of the government for the actions of the government at the time. I do so, realising that no word can describe something so enormous and awful as the Holocaust”

“ In all, we did too little. Not enough protection, not enough help, not enough recognition”

Of the 107,000 Dutch Jews sent to concentration camps, only 5000 survived.

I was one of the survivors, the odds of me celebrating my 80th birthday on the day that a Dutch government finally apologized; were 6 million/1.

About the Author
Eddy Boas is the author of 'I'm Not A Victim -- I Am A Survivor.' He lives in Australia
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