Pieter de Jong, "Response of the Churches in the Netherlands to the Nazi Occupation," in Michael D. Ryan, ed., Human Responses in the Holocaust: Perpetrators and Victims, Bystanders and Resisters, New York: Edwin Mellen Press, 1981, pp. 121-143

Abstract by Jerry Darring


De Jong was a Protestant minister during the Nazi occupation of Holland, and he chronicles the attempts of the Dutch churches to respond to Nazi policies and practices. His article traces events from May 1940 to May 1945. He documents interventions made by the churches to the occupation leadership, pastoral statements issued by the churches, efforts by the churches to resist anti-Jewish actions, and the process whereby Protestant and Catholic leaders united in their protest. He describes the enormous suffering of the Dutch population that resulted in such things as the closing of universities and the removal of many people to concentration camps.

The overall picture painted by de Jong is one of general resistance to the Holocaust as it played out in the Netherlands. He does not draw any broad conclusions regarding the Dutch population as to whether most were collaborators, resisters, or bystanders, but it is clear from his survey that the churches were publicly opposed to the Nazi persecution of Jews, and there was considerable public support for their protests.