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Report of the representative of the German Ministry for Foreign Affairs in the Netherlands, Otto Bene, 31 July 1942 about the first deportations. The representative did not foresee any problems and quoted the view of the Dutch State Secretary of the Ministry for the Interior, stating that the deportations were an "European problem" one could do nothing about.

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  • Political Archive of the German Foreign Office, Bonn, R 100876 Bl. 12 u. 12r.




The transportation of the Dutch Jews has continued unimpeded this week too. With the trains that left today, 6,000 Dutch Jews have been deported to date. The transportation itself has run unimpeded, and it is not to be expected that any difficulties or disruption will affect the transports rolling out in the next few weeks.

Of course this measure has not remained unknown among the Dutch population and there was a certain sporadic excitement to be noticed, especially in Amsterdam. The English broadcaster intervened and took the opportunity to agitate. Similarly, Dutch churches of all denominations felt obliged to approach the Reich Commissioner. The Reich Commissioner, however, took the viewpoint that the churches were able to give their support only to the Jews belonging to Christian churches. The intention was to exclude these so-called Christian Jews from the transportation under the condition that the churches would not feel obliged to take any steps on behalf of the remaining Jews. The Protestant churches did not close their minds to this thought process and, for their part, did not institute any declarations, prayers etc. in their churches. The Catholic Church, on the other hand, referred to the deportation of the Jews in its churches last Sunday. Apparently, the viewpoint taken by the Reich Commissioner had not been made known everywhere in good time.

To the Foreign Office in Berlin.

I attach a copy of today’s secret report from the commander of the Security Police (Gestapo) and the Security Service to the Reich Commissioner on events in the churches last Sunday (26 July 1942), and request that this report is treated as highly confidential.

The matter itself has been settled once more. We do not anticipate further difficulties on the part of the churches.

The attitude of the Dutch General Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior is interesting: although he is neither a member of the NSB (Dutch Nazi Party) nor a National Socialist, he expressed the opinion that the problem was a European one, and that nothing could be changed in its implementation. In this way, the deportation of the Jews is if not backed, at least endorsed by the Dutch authorities without official objection.
A few families from the East will also travel on the next transports.

The view in Jewish circles is that the deportation of Jews able to work is taking place in order to prepare the necessary quarters for the Jews in the East.

On the question raised in the wire of 17 July 1942 – no. 250 – of depriving Jews of Dutch citizenship, we are initially waiting to hear the views of the Foreign Office.
Besides the intervention of the churches, the result of which, as I have just heard, is that the approximately 4,000 "Christian Jews" are now gathered in a camp in Holland and will be held there for the time being, other circles, presumably at English inspiration, have begun circulating the scandal rag attached as appendix 2. Nothing is yet known of its results.

See the entire document in the download section.


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