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Laurien Vastenhout: The Holocaust in the Netherlands: the ‘Dutch paradox’

October 11 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Ruth Wiener’s certificate acknowledging her registration as a person of ‘wholly or partly Jewish blood’

Ruth Wiener’s certificate acknowledging her registration as a person of ‘wholly or partly Jewish blood’ as required by the German occupying authorities in the Netherlands, April 1941.

Part of The Wiener Holocaust Library at 90 exhibition events series.

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.

About the speaker

Dr Laurien Vastenhout is researcher and assistant professor at NIOD Institute for War, Holocaust and Genocide Studies / the University of Amsterdam. She obtained her PhD at the University of Sheffield in 2020.

In 2022, her book Between Community and Collaboration: ‘Jewish Councils’ in Western Europe under Nazi Occupation was published by Cambridge University Press. Vastenhout was recently granted a Dutch Research Council (NWO) VENI award for her project ‘Intermarriage and Family: Survival during War, Occupation and Genocide’, which will her research focus the coming years.

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2 comments so far

  • Elliot Puritz says:

    Is Dr. Vastenhout’s presentation available for streaming? How can those who are not able to attend the presentation access the meeting?



    • Samantha Dulieu says: [ Staff Member ]

      Hi Elliot, I’m afraid this event is in-person only, we’re not planning on streaming or recording it currently.

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