|The life of German Jews in the Netherlands|
The German-Jewish refugees who arrived in the Netherlands were not a homogeneous group. They came from both Germany and Eastern Europe, belonged to different social classes, practised a wide range of trades and professions, and were a mix of liberal and orthodox. Many of them found life hard in the Netherlands. Not everyone was pleased to see them. Many slid into poverty and became dependent on charitable organizations. Dutch Jews found the newcomers arrogant and somewhat strange. They spoke too loudly and were generally uncouth. German Jews who were able to support themselves financially were resented because they lived in relative prosperity, while the Dutch aid organizations were struggling to raise money for the poor. Most of the refugees settled in the cities in North and South Holland. Certain neighbourhoods, including Amsterdam-Zuid, became well-known refugee enclaves. Many immigrants participated actively in the economy, working in the textile, fashion and film industry. They sought contact with one another as the ubiquitous ‘exile’ culture (floor shows, literature, films) made them feel that they were still ‘sort of’ living in Germany. Out of around 35,000 German-Jewish refugees who stayed temporarily or permanently in the Netherlands between 1933 and 1939, only 15,000 were still there at the time of the German invasion.
Bekendmaking (NIOD 103103)