London (Aug. 1)
Private advices reaching Allied circles here today state that there are only 4,000 Jews remaining in Holland, all of whom are concentrated in Amsterdam with the exception of ten Jewish families in Rotterdam who posses Palestine immigration certificates. The few thousand Jews expect to be deported to eastern Europe within the coming month, the advices. say.
Meanwhile, in an interview with a Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent today, Jan de Hartog, prominent Dutch playwright and a member of the underground, paid tribute to the “silent heroism of the Jews in Holland” in the face of Nazi persecution and described resistance to the anti-Jewish measures by the Dutch population, who, he said, consider that “persecution of the Jews means persecution of a part of the Dutch people.”
He told how the Germans are very careful to avoid any direct clash with the Dutch population in regard to treatment of the Jews. Anti-Semitic regulations are printed only in the Nazi-controlled Joodsce Weeksblad, which is the organ of the Dutch Jewish community. “Aryans” are forbidden to read copies of this publication and the general press is barred from publishing any of the anti-Jewish decrees.
De Hartog revealed many incidents illustrating the Dutch people’s contempt for the racial laws and their constant attempts to flout the regulations:
When the Jews were first ordered to wear yellow Mogen David badges with the word “Jew” inscribed upon them, students in Amsterdam donned similar badges with the word “Goy” replacing “Jew.” On one occasion when a Jew sought to enter a crowded street car the conductor loudly asked the passengers: “Any room inside for one lieutenant?” (A lieutenant in the Dutch Army wears a single star.)
In a small village two local policemen were ordered by the Nazi commander to arrest an old, blind Jewish woman, on the charge that “they murdered Christ.” However, after calling on the woman, the policemen returned to the Nazi and stated that the woman was only 86 years old and since the crime had been committed 2,000 years ago, the old lady had a perfect alibi as she had been on “another planet” at the time. The policemen were immediately dismissed, classified as Jews and deported to Poland. When their families inquired after them, they were told that the two men had been “ritually murdered” by the Jews.
This last incident and his experiences while hiding out from the Gestapo together with a poor Jewish family “somewhere in Holland” have been incorporated in two of several plays which he wrote and memorized before fleeing Holland, De Hartog said. One of them is expected to be produced here shortly.