Of the 140,000 Jews in the country before the war, 102,000 did not survive.
It took 75 years. The Prime Minister of the Netherlands issued an apology on behalf of the government on Sunday 26 January for the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands during the Second World War. It is the first time that the government has apologized for the persecution of Jews in the Netherlands and their mass deportation to the death camps. Of the 140,000 Jews in the country, 102,000 did not survive.
“Now that the last survivors are still with us, I apologize today (Sunday) on behalf of the government for the actions of the authorities at the time”, Mark Rutte said in Amsterdam during a national tribute on the eve of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi extermination camp at Auschwitz.
“Our government institutions have not acted as guardians of justice and security”said Mark Rutte on Sunday, adding that “too many Dutch officials had carried out the orders of the occupier”. “The bitter consequences of the creation of (Jewish) registers and expulsions were not sufficiently recognized or recognized in time”, continued the Prime Minister.
Overall, it was too much too little. Too little protection. Too little help. Too little recognition.
“75 years after Auschwitz, anti-Semitism is still among us. This is precisely why we must fully recognize what happened at the time and speak it out loud”, he said again.
The issue had been raised in 2012 by some political leaders, but Mark Rutte, already Prime Minister, had estimated that there was not enough information on the action of the government at the time, nor of “fairly broad support” to justify an official apology. In 2000, then Prime Minister Wim Kok apologized for “the frosty welcome” reserved for survivors of camps on their return to the Netherlands, occupied by the Germans from 1940 to 1945.