The Holocaust in the Netherlands

Ido de Haan

in Jewish Studies

ISBN: 9780199840731
Published online August 2012 | | DOI:
The Holocaust in the Netherlands

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The persecution and destruction of the Jews during World War II is part of European history, yet in most historical accounts of these events, a national perspective predominates. Seen from this perspective, it becomes clear that the attack on the Jews in the Netherlands revealed a paradox: while the Netherlands had the reputation of being traditionally a tolerant country, offering a safe haven to Jews as well as to other religious minorities, the number of victims was much higher than in other western European countries. In recent years, the “Dutch paradox” has sparked much debate, yet little of it has reached a wider international audience. This might be because few scholars read Dutch. Yet, it might also result from the fact that after a major output of publications on the Holocaust in the Netherlands in the 1950s and 1960s, little new research was published until the late 1990s. The historical debates that stimulated historians outside the Netherlands to put the Holocaust in a new perspective—the Nuremberg, Eichmann, and Auschwitz trials; the German Historikerstreit; and the Goldhagen controversy—did not evoke much reaction in the Netherlands. This has changed only in the past two decades. Scholars have begun to study various aspects of the Dutch paradox: How far did Dutch tolerance reach? What were the historical dynamics behind the high number of casualties? How have the Dutch been able to keep their tolerant reputation for such a long time, despite indications to the contrary? Much of the literature and almost all of the primary sources on the Holocaust in the Netherlands are in Dutch, which requires that scholars learn the language before entering this field of research. Yet, an increasing number of Dutch scholars have presented an abbreviated version of their research in English. This bibliography refers to the English-language articles and chapters, if available, in which references to the extended Dutch-language version can be generally found.

Article.  16153 words. 

Subjects: Judaism and Jewish Studies

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