Members of the Dutch police charged with rounding up and arresting Jews during World War II were notoriously cruel, according to the writers of a book entitled Jodenjacht (‘Jew Hunt’), due to appear in the bookstores today.
Ad van Liempt and Jan Kompagnie claim the special police unit was popular and the officers received a bonus for every Jew they arrested. But money was not the main motivation - they were largely driven by anti-Semitism. The majority were members of the NSB, the Dutch Nazi Party.
One Amsterdam detective is quoted as saying: "If they piled up all the Jews, poured petrol on them and set light to them, I would enjoying watching it."
The Dutch police used excessive force against the Jews during the raids. There are also widespread allegations of sexual abuse and theft.
More Dutch Jews murdered
The rounding up of Jews in the Netherlands started in 1942, and in July of that year 1,137 Jews were taken from the Westerbork transit camp to Auschwitz as there were no extermination camps in this country.
The percentage of Jews from the Netherlands murdered by the Germans and their associates in World War II was higher than in any other West European country. There were approximately 140,000 Jews in the Netherlands at the outbreak of the war, representing 1.6 percent of the Dutch population. In Amsterdam they made up about 9.5 percent of the city's population.
Some 107,000 Jews were deported during the war. Of those 102,000 were killed. Most of the remainder went into hiding.
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