Nederlands Exposition in Auschwitz Refugees

Refugee accommodation

Dutch policy

After Hitler came to power in 1933, many Germans - Jews and political refugees - tried to flee to the Netherlands. However, the Dutch government set high admittance requirements. Those who did not comply with these requirements were not permitted to enter the country. In many cases they were handed over to the Secret State Police (Gestapo). In 1934, the border was closed because the government feared an increase of the already high unemployment rate. In order to prevent people from entering illegally, the border patrol was expanded to 600 men.

In 1938, Minister of Justice C.M.J.F. Goseling described the refugee policy in the following words:
Henceforth, a refugee will be considered an undesired element for the Dutch society and accordingly an undesired foreigner, who consequently will be blocked from crossing the border and - if found within Dutch borders - will be set across the border.


Afbeelding 2Afbeelding 1
  1. Jewish refugees being received at the Amsterdam Central Station, 1930s.
    In 1933, two committees for Jewish refugees were set up in Amsterdam: the Committee for Special Jewish Interest and the Committee for Jewish Refugees.
    Potographer is unknown, Spaarnestad Photo Collection, Haarlem
  2. German Jewish refugees being sent back by train to Germany under supervision of the military police, April 1933.
    Unknown photographer, Spaarnestad Photo Collection, Haarlem
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