May 1, 2011 4:59 pm


To be Jewish is to remember both the good and the evil.  And each memorial day seems to add new information to the memory bank.  This year is no exception;

Iran, then and now I am posting only the bad then. We all know plenty about the bad now:

During the Holocaust, Iran proved singularly sympathetic in the Muslim world. Its history of help abounds with public actions and private gestures. Most famous, perhaps, is the case of hundreds of Jewish orphans housed in a tent city outside of Tehran until they were allowed to immigrate to Palestine.

Iran’s proud history of help for targeted Jews continued in the post-war period, and the government opened its borders to Jews fleeing anti-Semitic violence in neighboring Muslim states. When pogroms against Iraqi Jews erupted in the wake of the establishment of the new state of Israel in 1948, Iran provided a safe haven.

This was public policy, openly announced by no less a figure than Prime Minister Muhammad Said Maragai. “In accordance with the tradition of tolerance, stamped deep into the Iranian nation for 6,000 years, the policy of an open door to political and religious refugees will be continued,” he announced in early 1950. And thus some 20,000 Iraqi Jews smuggled themselves into hospitable Iran and thence, openly, to Israel.

This Yom HaShoah: Closure or Anguish for Families of Dutch Holocaust Victims? I suspect the same is true for children of the evil ones who aided the Nazis.

To the few remaining Dutch survivors of the Holocaust and to the descendants of the more than 100,000 Dutch Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, this upcoming Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Day) could be a particularly poignant one.

You see, het Nationaal Archief (The Netherlands' National Archive) announced a couple of weeks ago that it has compiled, from previously sealed archives on war collaborators, extensive information about the arrests and deportations to Nazi concentration camps of some 9,000 Dutch Jews.

The information includes, according to the National Archive, the names of those who arrested the Dutch Jews and other facts about their arrests and their deportations to the Nazi death camps during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Some of the dossiers used to compile the information also contain the names of the informants who betrayed the Jews, descriptions of the arrests and interrogations and sometimes even the "letters of betrayal."

This potentially distressing information has become available as the result of diligent research and investigation by Jan Kompagnie from the National Archive, journalist Ad van Liempt and others. Last September, they were given special permission to review the judicial dossiers of 250 "Jodenjagers" (Jew hunters) as part of what the National Archive calls a further "opening-up" of an extensive archive containing 500,000 dossiers on at least 310,000 people suspected of collaboration with the Nazis and of other war crimes.

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