Outbreak of the war
On May 10, 1940, German troops invaded the neutral Netherlands. The superiority of the Wehrmacht and the high number of war deaths led the Dutch government to surrender after only five days. The Dutch queen and the Dutch government fled into exile in England.
The German occupation triggered a profound shock among the population. The German occupiers established a civil administration in the Netherlands. The country was to be firmly tied to Germany, and the Nazi ideology was to be accepted unconditionally by the Dutch.
In the hope of appeasing the German occupiers, the Dutch administrations cooperated with the occupation authorities without resistance. However, contrary to hopes that the German Wehrmacht would moderate its actions, it continued its crimes against human rights in the Netherlands as well: Jews were deported and murdered, and Dutch people were deported to Germany for labor.
As the military situation of the Wehrmacht deteriorated towards the end of the war, the occupation became even more brutal and merciless. Any resistance that sprouted in the Netherlands against the occupiers was immediately suppressed.
Persecution of Jews in occupied Holland
While the German occupiers were still restrained regarding the persecution of the Jews immediately after the surrender of the Netherlands, systematic discrimination against the Jewish population began in the summer of 1940. Civil servants had to prove their “Aryan status”, Jewish civil servants and employees were dismissed. Jews were increasingly isolated from society not only in the economic and labor spheres, but in the cultural sphere as well.
Anne Frank listed in her diary the numerous restrictions she experienced in her ev...