Thank you to one of my Facebook friends for posting this article about Holland in ynetnews.com. It tackles the issue of Holocaust denial and in some of its categorizations of the Dutch made me feel compelled to respond. I hope my response gets posted, but just in case, here is a link to the original post, followed by my response.
This article was of great interest to me, particularly since on Wednesday it will be 4 weeks since the release of my book, “Jew Face: A story of love and heroism in Nazi-0ccupied Holland.”
There is no condoning the activities Dr. Gerstenfeld spoke of in Vorden and Amsterdam, but I would like to offer a slightly broader perspective. Holland is a nation of close to 17 million people, of which the majority is Catholic and Protestant. There is a growing Muslim population and an almost non-existent Jewish population. There is anti-Semitism taking place regularly in almost every nation on the planet. The problem that exists in Holland is that in an attempt to be super liberal, some Dutch citizens may show a lapse in judgment and sensitivity.
I do not believe that labeling Holland as a nation that stands out in attempting to brush away the memory of the Holocaust is a fair categorization. I also feel that some credit needs to be given to the Dutch for their overall treatment of the Jewish people. The only time in modern history where living as a Jew was uncomfortable in Holland was when the nation was under Nazi occupation. The righteousness of much of the non-Jewish Dutch population during World War II made it possible for many to survive that otherwise might not have. I also speak of this in my book and it is the reason that the website I created to discuss issues surrounding the book is called Holland’s heroes https://hollandsheroes.com/. So although I respect Dr. Gerstenfeld’s opinion and realize that he and I are likely on the same side as far as our ultimate concerns and goals, I differ strongly in his assessment of Holland.