1941 General Strike Marked

As they have done every year since their liberation from German occupation, the citizens of Amsterdam marked the anniversary of the Feb. 25-26, 1941 general strike when Dutch workers tried in vain to halt the deportation of the first 400 Amsterdam Jews to Nazi death camps. The commemoration began with a ceremony under the auspices of the Mayor and town Aldermen at the stevedors’ monument. The Amsterdam port workers were credited with having organized the protest strike and for that reason wreaths are placed every Feb. 25 at the base of the statue.

But the Dutch Communist Party also claims credit for having initiated the 1941 action. It marks the occasion annually with a parade through town and a rally at which Communist speakers make speeches on more topical issues. This year, in addition to demands for government control of multi-national enterprises and compensation to offset inflation, they also urged severe punishment for Pieter Menten, a Dutch art dealer accused of having participated in the murders of Jews and others in the Lemberg area of Poland when he was a member of an SS unit in July, 1941 Menten, who was arrested last year, is now awaiting trial.

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