Volume 5  –  document 131

In late April 1942 an illegal pamphlet protests against the Aryanization of Dutch economic life1NIOP, IP 17.29 MIP 042. This document has been translated from Dutch.

Pamphlet, unsigned, undated2The pamphlet can be dated to the end of April on the basis of H. C. van Maasdijk’s article in De Waag: see fn. 4. (typescript)

More than half a billion stolen from our Jewish fellow citizens!

The NSB man H. C. van Maasdijk wrote in De Waag3De Waag was published from Jan. 1937 to April 1945 and had a circulation of around 4,000 copies. The weekly paper was conservative, anti-parliamentarian, and pro-German in outlook. From the summer of 1942 it championed the positions of the Dutch SS and was financed by Rost van Tonningen. about the ‘Aryanization’ of Dutch economic life.4De Waag, ‘Ariseering van het Nederlandsche Bedrijfsleven’, 17 April 1942, pp. 1024–1025. In this article he states that out of the 21,000 Jewish companies in the Netherlands which have had to register, approximately 10,000 more will have to disappear. About 8,000 companies have been ‘voluntarily’ Aryanized. The others still represent a cumulative value of 150 million guilders. Jewish homes of a total value of 200 million guilders are to be sold. Jewish financial assets and securities holdings worth a total of 150 million guilders are to be ‘liquidated’.5Jewish assets worth a total of at least one billion guilders were plundered in the Netherlands during the occupation period: see Aalders, Nazi Looting, p. 180.

In other words, the Germans are stealing more than half a billion guilders in Jewish capital in our country! Where they cannot convert this capital into cash directly, they offer the property for sale. Mr van Maasdijk is now complaining about the lack of interest in this Aryanization in the Netherlands. ‘There have been cases’, he writes, ‘where Dutch financial institutions have declined to get involved in such transactions for reasons of principle …’

We find that attitude very understandable; a decent person will not lay hands on stolen goods! Mr van Maasdijk, however, laments this attitude, complaining that these companies will now fall into German possession!6See Doc. 109.

We can understand that this is terrible for Mr van Maasdijk, who of course believes in the longevity of the so-called new order.

We, for our part, are convinced that the Germans will be defeated and think it is dreadful that the Jews are having their possessions taken off them – as that is what the whole Aryanization process amounts to, given that the Jews are not getting a cent of the proceeds – but … We console ourselves with the thought that these measures, as well as the whole new order, are only temporary and that those possessions will be returned to our Jewish fellow citizens after the liberation.7After the war Jews could only reclaim the value assigned to their assets during the Aryanization process, a figure that was frequently far below the actual value. It will then be up to those dealers in stolen goods to find a way to get their pennies back from bankrupt Nazism! We are therefore particularly pleased that no bona fide Dutchmen are persuaded to take part in such dirty transactions!

This document is part of:
Western and Northern Europe 1940–June 1942 (Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2021)