Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Don’t forget the Dutch ‘non-Jewish’ victims and survivors of the Holocaust

Today, was a beautiful and impressive inauguration of a first beautiful national Holocaust monument in its Capital of Amsterdam. Among others, the PM and mayor spoke. The king was present, gave no speech, but spoke with survivors for all of us to hear. A memorial—better late than never.

The monument, as the speakers remarked, honors the Dutch 102,000+ Jewish and 220 Roma and Sinti victims. It gives permeance to the names of the murdered who never received a grave. It also screams out: how was this possible. And it is a warning against again looking away from bigotry.

Permit me to highlight something that seems to be overlooked in this.

In the heading of this blog post, it says ‘non-Jewish’ between quotation marks because there is nothing non-Jewish about them. I’ll explain.

Before WWII, many Dutch Jews, especially in the working class in the larger cities, were well integrated into the general population. Just like many German Jews were more German than the Germans. These Dutch were fellow socialists, intellectuals, and moderns, who didn’t live in isolation and felt equal to everyone else.

If they were religious, Judaism often was their religion; their nationality was Dutch. Jews lived in the Low Countries for hundreds of years in peace.

In the Middle Ages, Holland was cleared of all Jews (who were all murdered or chased out) twice, and before the French occupation (Napoleon), they had lived under apartheid, but that was long forgotten.

The first thing the Nazi occupier did was to separate the Jews from the Gentiles. People hardly aware of their Jewish roots, suddenly were ‘the other.’ In Denmark, the king put up a Jewish Star, preventing this separation. In the Netherlands, no such thing happened from the high end of society. However, in ’41, Communists and Socialists organized the world’s first general strike against Antisemitism when the first group of Jews was rounded up. Something the Dutch are not sufficiently proud of.

Then there was another large group of ‘non-Jewish’ Jews on Dutch grounds. The intermarried Jews and their offspring. The Nazis were very scared to touch them as they didn’t want to risk annoying their Gentile family members. They reassured everyone that intermarried Jews would not be bothered. Secretly, they had plans to deport them to the death camps in the late ’40s. Just, the war was over before they could.

Thus, a large percentage of the only 25% Jewish survivors, besides Jews who were hidden successfully, were intermarried Jews and their offspring. The curious thing was that those with a traditionally Jewish family name were not Jewish for Jewish Law (Jewish father), while the Jewish ones often had a Gentile last name. But often, all of them felt very Jewish.

And then there was a third group of ‘non-Jewish’ Jewish survivors. Those who did not tell their children that they were Jews. No Jewish first names, no circumcision, no religion, or sometimes adoption of a Christian religion. In an attempt to save their loved ones from future dangers.

In talking about Jewish victims and survivors of the Holocaust, the above three groups are too often overlooked. Please note that not all Dutch Jews, before or after the war, were stereotypically ‘the other.’ Not all Jews identified as Jews (so much). Not all Jews lived in a Jewish bubble. After the Holocaust, many hid their roots, stayed in the closet. Sometimes, their children or grandchildren discovered the family secret. Some never did.

Restored raw Nazi footage from 1944 of the largest Dutch concentration Camp Westerbork to show that life there was normal, calm, and fun.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. He doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 1400 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe, here: https://mmvanzuiden.wordpress.com/ or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (https://diethylstilbestrol.co.uk/studies/des-and-psychological-health/), born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me.
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