Yesterday I came across this article, which I urge you to read for yourself. The surviving Jews of Amsterdam were apparently charged property taxes and utilities during the time that they were either in hiding or deported by the Nazis. They were fighting for their lives. Only 5% of the country’s Jews came home, and when they did they were handed bills.
What was the city government of Amsterdam thinking? Jews are rich so they can afford to pay. Was this pure antisemitism? Or can it be interpreted on a kinder note? Our city has been put in ruins by the Nazis and we need money to rebuild. We need to collect money in any way possible.
The Jews of Amsterdam had everything taken from them. Many returned with only the clothing on their backs, no jobs and no place to live. Can you imagine trying to re-establish your life and being handed a bill for back taxes on a home that you were forced out of by a regime that wanted to exterminate you and your family and your kind?
Thank you Charlotte van den Berg for bringing this bit of history out in the open.
4 thoughts on “Surviving Jews were Asked to Pay Back Taxes after the Holocaust”
One person CAN make a difference. She demonstrated tenacity in the face of much disinterest and opposition.
I would like to add that since WW II, Amsterdam has had fours jewish mayors.
Mr. Ivo Samkalden (1912-1995)
Wim Polak (1924-1999)
Drs. Ed. van Thijn (born. 1934)
Mr. M.J. (Job) Cohen (born. 1947)
So the explanation for this episode has other components than anti-semitism.
Ed van Thijn
Myriam – I wouldn’t claim anti-semitism NOW, but possibly right after the war…..
However, I am not trying to judge. I have no idea the reasoning behind the policy.
In 1945, the Amsterdam municipality was poor as a church mouse. So it tried to get money from wherever it could find it.
The public servants who put this policy into practice were not thoughtful or in the least interested in the plight of the people they aggressed with their demands. But assuming their callousness came in most cases from anti-semitism rather than heartless indifference is probably one bridge too far.