|German refugees and their bond with (Nazi) Germany|
German-Jewish refugees who found shelter in the Netherlands still felt a powerful bond with the German language, culture and history. For decades the German-Jewish community had thrived and enjoyed equal status with the rest of the population. Understandably, therefore, many migrants hoped or even planned to return sooner or later.
The archive contains a collection of applications for visas and entry permits which Jews living in the Netherlands sent to the German Legation and Consulates. The proposed visits were both of a temporary – for family or business reasons – and a permanent nature. Interestingly, the applicants made regular use of national-socialist jargon. One woman describes herself as a non-Aryan (entry 24) and ends with “With German greetings” (entry 383). There are also various letters requesting forms for the registration of German-Jewish possessions.
The exact circumstances of these individual cases will never be known, but they do suggest a mindset that often underestimated the ‘true nature’ of Nazism and problems in accepting a state of exile.
The situation as far as the Germans were concerned was crystal clear: in a confidential message sent in July 1937 the Auswärtiges Amt stated that the return of Jewish emigrants – temporary or otherwise – to the German Reich was, without exception, undesirable (entry 139).