Kristallnacht

The first person who was executed by the Germans in the Netherlands during the Second World War for acts of resistance was a Jew. His name was Leendert Schijveschuurder. His descendants were later massacred in the Sbarro pizza bombing by a Palestinian. I heard the blast which killed them.

I have in my possession a letter addressed to my father, written by Truus Menger Oversteegen, symbol of the Dutch resistance, in which she refuses to testify on behalf of a Dutch Jewish woman who handed out underground newspapers on the street during the German occupation. It was not resistance according to Oversteegen, since anyway the woman had Jewish blood in her veins (her words) and was therefore marked for death. My father was a typographer during the war and helped printing “De Waarheid”, the Dutch communist underground newspaper. An activity also punishable by death, as was handing out that newspaper in public. Or being Jewish, for that matter.

When you are Jewish handing out illegal newspapers during the German occupation is not resistance. This has generally been the attitude towards Jews who were engaged in resistance activities. Official Dutch government policy reflected this view.

Jews who had been in the resistance during the war had to fight in order to be recognized as resistance fighters by the Dutch government after the war. They were categorized as war victims, receiving substantially lower pensions and benefits. They had to fight for recognition, they had to convince doctors how much of their personality was damaged by resistance and how much of it was harmed by being a victim. Resistance fighters who were not Jewish b  had to suffer no such inquiries into their person and were recognized in full as resistance fighters, receiving full benefits and honors. Holland is the only country in Europe to have discriminated against its Jewish resistance fighters in such a way.

As a consequence Jews who resisted the Nazi occupier in order to restore the sovereignty of the the Kingdom of the Netherlands have been severely underrated, ignored and humiliated by the country that they fought for. Meanwhile the authorities in the Netherlands have debated whether or not to add Moroccans to the list of liberators of Holland since a few dead bodies from the French army washed ashore in 1940 after they tried escaping to England. Not kidding.

We want our parents and grandparents who fought the Nazi’s to be honored and respected. Not humiliated on a yearly basis at the memorial that is supposed to honor their names. However this is what the people who invited Haneen Zoabi to speak in Amsterdam on Kristallnacht are doing. Each year, year after year. This is their hobby.

It must end.

About the Author
Born in Switzerland in 1973. Raised in Holland, I lived 10 years in Israel where I experienced the collapse of the peace process. J now reside back in Holland. I've published in Trouw and Volkskrant. My parents were Holocaust survivors. They taught me the ideas on which I base my articles.
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