Unbelievably, Amsterdam Hit Up Holocaust Survivors for Back Taxes

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tags: Holocaust, Amsterdam



June 1945: “The dead walk along in endless rows,” wrote Elie Dasberg, a Dutch Jew who survived Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and returned here to what had been, before the Holocaust, his home. “From the demolished houses their faces stare. There is no square, no street without memories. Because the endless row keeps traveling along.”

But the ordeal was not over. The few Dutch Jews who survived the vast bureaucratic horror of the Germans’ “final solution”—the “banality of evil” described by Hannah Arendt—found added to their injuries an insult by the Dutch bureaucracy.

Amsterdam’s city administration fined Holocaust survivors for being late paying the rent on the land their houses were built on, the so-called leasehold payment. The city administrators were unmoved by the fact those who came back did so from the concentration camps and the city fathers chose to ignore the fact that Nazi opportunistswere living in many of the properties.   




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