In 1942, the Dutch weekly magazine Volk en Vaderland, which propagated the political opinions of the Dutch National Socialists in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands, published a comic strip, “Rare, maar ware commentaren” (Odd, but true comments). In it, the illustrator, Peter Beekman (1911–1959) depicted current events and the various perceived enemies of National Socialist society, Jews in particular, providing insight into how the genre was deployed in the Nazi propaganda machine. This article analyses the use of six dominant anti-Semitic themes which appeared in this particular wartime comic strip, but which were also a reflection of wider anti-Jewish stereotyping present throughout Europe at the time, including those of “otherness,” greediness and Judeo-Communism. My discussion will be thus placed in a broader context of both the Dutch political culture and the Volk en Vaderland editorial policy. I will also focus on Beekman himself, an intriguing figure of the time, who joined the NSB, the country’s National Socialist party, in 1940, and who continued to work as an illustrator after the Second World War. As such, the article will go deeper into the intricacies of anti-Jewish discourse, its hidden mechanisms, and the individuals and institutions that molded it.
- World War II
- dutch history