The Holocaust in the Netherlands: “the Dutch paradox”

Activity: Talk or presentationAcademic


Around three quarters (75%) of the Jews in the Netherlands were murdered during the Holocaust. Compared to Belgium (40%) and France (25%), this is by far the highest death rate in Western Europe.

Since the Netherlands is known for its supposed tradition of tolerance towards minorities, the question why so many Jews were deported and killed has occupied a central place in Dutch Holocaust historiography.

In this talk, Dr Laurien Vastenhout presents an explanatory framework for this so-called ‘Dutch paradox’. In doing so, she not only provides an insight into how the Holocaust unfolded in the Netherlands, but also address some persistent misconceptions about the role of the Jewish community leadership – specifically, the Dutch Jewish Council – in the process of isolation and deportation of the Jews during the German occupation.
Period11 Oct 2023
Degree of RecognitionInternational