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Nazis Start Sterilization of Jews in Holland; Church Leaders Protest

June 13, 1943
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Nazi authorities in occupied Holland have started the sterilization of Jews, the Swedish newspapers reported today.

The report reveals that church leaders in Holland have submitted a protest to Arthur Seyss-Inquart, Nazi commissar for Holland, demanding an end to this new "infamy." Dutch doctors unanimously refused to collaborate with Nazi doctors in performing the sterilization operations.

The first persons to be sterilized are Jewish husbands of childless mixed marriages. Several hundred of them were taken to the Westerbork concentration camp and given the choice of either being deported to Poland or being sterilized, the report states.

The protest to the Nazi commissar Seyss-Inquart was submitted in behalf of the United Churches of the Netherlands, including the Reformed Church, the Roman Catholic Church, the Evangelic Church, the Lutheran Church, the three Calvinist churches and the Menonite Church. It read in part:

"After all that has befallen the Jewish citizens of our country there is now taking place something so monstrous that it is impossible for us to refrain from addressing you in the name of Our Lord.

"During the past weeks a beginning has been made with the sterilization of members of so-called mixed marriages. God, however, who created Heaven and earth, and to whose Commandments all must yield, and to which you also must render an accounting, has commanded mankind to ‘ be fruitful and multiply.’

"Sterilization consitutes a physical and psychical mutilation that is directly in contradiction to the divine command, not to dishonor, wound or kill our neighbor. Sterilization consitutes a profanation of Divine command and human right. It is the final consequence of an anti-Christian and destructive racial doctrine, the manifestation of a presumptive, self-aggrandizement and a life philosophy that threatens to undermine and frustrate all truly Christian and humane existence."

The protest concludes by pointing out to Seyss-Inquart that he, as the highest authority in the country, will be held responsible for "the infamous practice of sterilization" if he does not order it discontinued.

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