Menu JTA Search

Dutch bounty hunters preyed on Jews during Holocaust, study shows

THE HAGUE (JTA) — Dozens of Dutchmen preyed on Jews for cash during the Holocaust, according to a new study.

The research by Pinchas Bar Efrat showed that as many as 80 bounty hunters roamed the Netherlands during the German occupation during World War II.

Led by two men, Wim Henneicke and Willem Briede, authorities paid the bounty hunters five guilders for every Jew they brought in — the equivalent of a week’s pay for unskilled laborers.

The research by Bar Efrat, 82, a Dutch native who two years ago received his doctorate in philosophy from Hebrew University, showed that authorities raised the bounty to 7.5 guilders and later to 40 toward the end of World War II.

Some of Bar Efrat’s findings were published earlier this month by the Israeli daily Maariv and are based on months of research he conducted at the Dutch national archives in The Hague. The group, known as the Henneicke Column, also extradited Dutchmen who hid Jews from the Nazis, the research showed.

The group extradited thousands of Jews, many of whom were murdered by the Nazis. Bar Efrat’s research added new details about the Henneicke Column to previous studies, including one by Dutch journalist Ad van Liempt.

Wim Henneicke was assassinated by the Dutch resistance in 1944. Briede was sentenced to death in absentia after he escaped Holland in 1945 and settled in Germany, where he died of natural causes in 1962.

NEXT STORY