The Netherlands is a profoundly hypocritical society. To prove such a statement in detail would require a lengthy book. But one possible shortcut to support this claim is to observe a small segment of the population that has multiple complex interactions with society at large. And Dutch Jewry fits the bill for understanding a country whose extreme behavior cannot easily be seen.
The Netherlands isn’t particularly hospitable to its Jews, nor can one rank its attitude toward them among Europe’s worst. Only a few foreign correspondents are based in the country, and negative aspects of the Netherlands rarely make it into the international media.
In May 1940, the Netherlands was occupied by the invading Germans within a few days. In the following years, more than 70% of its 140,000-strong Jewish population were murdered after having been sent to German camps, mainly in Poland. In the preparatory activities for what would lead to genocide, the Dutch authorities followed German orders. Dutch policemen arrested Jews, including babies, knowing full well that the police should only arrest criminals. The Dutch railways transported the Jews to the Dutch transit camp Westerbork, and from there to the German border. Dutch police guarded the Jews in the camp.
The Dutch government in exile in London gave no instructions to the bureaucracy in their occupied country. One government employee in London, Henri Dentz, wrote a report in December 1943, which stated that most Dutch Jews had already been murdered. This report was sent to all ministries and to a number of other Dutch institutions in London, including the Red Cross. After the war, Dentz testified that nobody wanted to read it.