Anti-Jewish Riots and Pogroms in Occupied Europe: Warsaw – Paris – The Hague – Amsterdam – Antwerp – Kaunas
Chapter 3 The Hague and Amsterdam. Antwerp
The two capital cities of the Netherlands
Attacked by Nazi Germany on 10th May 1940, the Netherlands, with a population of less than nine million, offered resistance for a mere few days. After Queen Wilhelmina left the country, the Government emigrating with her, and the day after the barbaric bombing of Rotterdam on 14th May 1941, with 800–980 killed,233 General Henri Winkelman signed the capitulation. Three days later, Hitler appointed Arthur Seyss-Inquart Civil Commissioner for the Occupied Netherlands – officially: Reichskommissar in den besetzten niederländischen Gebiete. An Austrian by birth, Seyss-Inquart had previously acted as deputy to Hans Frank in the Generalgouvernment.
An astute and cynical politician, Seyss-Inquart enjoyed Hitler’s trust and fondness.234 Assuming his office on 30th May 1940, he delivered a proclamation to the Dutch nation during a ceremony at the Royal Palace in The Hague. He said on that occasion: “We are not willing to apply imperialistic oppression with respect to this country and its population, or superimpose our own political convictions.” He made reference to “observance of the law, respect for the morals and institutions of public life of the Dutch people,” and remarked on their Germanic “blood community.”235 Since the behaviour of the German soldiers and officers in the conquered country was unobjectionable, the earlier news from occupied Poland, emphasising the prevalence of terror, came to be seen as much exaggerated, if not as propagandist lies. This is by no means to say that the Dutch...
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