Looking back over the past year, one must come to the conclusion that what has happened in the neighboring country of Germany has been a direct influence on the course of events in Dutch Jewry, especially in politics. For the thousands of German Jewish fugitives, whose number somewhat decreased in the course of the year either by return to Germany or by departure for Palestine or elsewhere, have also had an effect on the political position of the Dutch Jews. It cannot be denied that an acute revival of latent anti-Semitism has been the direct result and that several small anti-Semitic Nazi-groups, whose close connection with German Nazis has been proved, have made the German Jewish fugitives the object of their action.
The Dutch Government, however, did not deviate from the view not only that Jewish citizens have absolutely the same rights as others, but that at the same time the right of hospitality for fugitives must be maintained. And an especially sympathetic gesture of this government, the Premier of which is the well-known statesman, Dr. H. Colijn, is the establishment of the agricultural colony in the “Wieringermeerpolder” on the reclaimed Zuyder-Sea-ground, where 300 German Jewish fugitives are allowed to prepare themselves for a new existence.
Against possible anti-Semitic excesses and also against utterances such as appear in the Dutch edition of Julius Streicher’s “Der Stuermer” which have caused violent indignation among all circles of the Dutch population, the Government has as a preventive measure presented a bill, which has already been sanctioned by the two Chambers of the States General, and by the Queen, for protection of public order. The bill provides punishment for those sowing dissension among the population.
Thus the Dutch Government hopes to be able to control those who sympathize in Holland with National-Socialistic ideas and to keep the Nazi danger beyond the frontiers. Several Nazi spies have been deported from Holland and foreigners have been warned that the Dutch Government cannot tolerate political action of any kind by foreigners.
On the other hand must be related the condemnation of the well known German Jewish writer, Heinz Liepmann, because he had expressed offensive utterances against the head of a foreign country, the Reichspresident von Hindenburg, in his book, “Das Vaterland” (“Murder-Made in Germany”), which also appeared in Dutch. Liepmann spent several months in an Amsterdam prison.
In religious matters also German events have had a certain influence in Holland. For while official Dutch Jewry stands on a rigid traditional base, the invasion of German fugitives has given new impulse to the young liberal Jew-