Amsterdam’s current mayor is undertaking an investigation with the purpose of reimbursing the survivors who paid a total of $14.5 million in fines from 1942 to the end of the war.
Amsterdam’s municipal authorities have reportedly been collecting property tax, including fines for late payments, from Jewish survivors of the Holocaust, billing them over time periods spent in Nazi concentration camps, or in hiding.
The reported policy is potentially all the more scandalous as the Dutch have been widely lauded for their compassionate treatment of Jews during the Nazi invasion of the Netherlands in the course of WWII, including concealing many Jews from their German persecutors.
The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Wednesday that Amsterdam’s current mayor, Eberhard van der Laan, has requested Amsterdam’s Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies, or NIOD, to undertake an investigation into the matter after a report in the local daily the Het Parool was published last year, with a view to reimburse the survivors.
NIOD researchers compiled their findings in a yet unpublished report that, according to Dutch press.
According to the JTA report, Amsterdam “received a total of $14.5 million from fines unjustly levied against Jews during the relevant period.” Apparently, a significant proportion of the homes that were later billed for property tax were confiscated and used by members of the Dutch Nazi party, while the Jewish owners were in concentration camps or in hiding.
Germany invaded the Netherlands in 1940. Some 75 percent of the Netherlands pre-World War II Jewish population of 140,000 perished in the Holocaust. The time period for which the survivors were deemed liable was between 1942, when the mass deportation of Jews to camps began, and the end of the war.
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