In Memoriam (Le Zecher)
Netherlands is the country whose Jewish population was most severely decimated in the Shoah (1940-1945). While France lost 25% of its Jews, and Belgium and Norway each lost 40%, no less than 75% of the Jewish population of the Netherlands was murdered by the Nazis. This percentage was the third-highest in Europe as a whole, after the Jewish communities of Poland and Greece.
Before World War II, about 140,000 Jews were living in the Netherlands, plus some 20,000 descendants of marriages between Jews and non-Jews. Most of the members of the latter group survived the Nazi occupation. It was the former group, defined by the Nazis as Volljuden, that was the target of systematic persecution. Over 105,000 were deported, mainly to Auschwitz and Sobibor, and only several thousand survived and returned to the Netherlands. These returnees, together with those who had been successfully hidden by non-Jews within the country, formed a group of about 35,000 survivors in 1945.
The "Netherlands War Graves Foundation" in The Hague, allowed us to include their data base, listing all Jews from the Netherlands who were deported and perished without graves. The names and dates of birth and death were previously published in the memorial books of the Netherlands War Graves Foundation. as a means of honoring the memory of those who did not have a proper burial.
Not all memorial books were of relevance for this goal: the In Memoriam is based on volumes 4 till 33 (included), containing the names of the more than 100,000 Jewish Dutch citizens, who were murdered.
The data were gathered by the Red Cross, the Dutch Institute for War Documentation, and the Dutch Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and checked against the population registries. Nonetheless, errors and incomplete data remained, both in the original books and in the new consolidated volume published in 1995. The Netherlands War Graves Foundation and a group of volunteers from Akevoth try their utmost to correct errors and obtain missing information. A revised version of the list will be published in the near future.
In the volumes 4 till 33 the names of Jewish persons whose fate was/is unknown were also included.
Through remarks from relatives, internal research in past years, but also on the strength of publications like the Belgian "Memorial", it became clear, that many tried to escape through Belgium and France. Regrettably many were nevertheless caught there and subsequently deported.
These Dutch Jews were mostly killed in Auschwitz.
So as to honor the memory of this group of victims their personal data were added to In Memoriam.
Also when a grave is found, for instance through discovery of a mass grave, the personal details are not removed from IM. Neither are they deleted from the memorial books.
The Jewish victims with a known (in most cases individual) grave, are not included in IM.
This is a result of the original purpose the memorial books were meant to serve.
Consequently, the In Memoriam database is a dynamic one, not only because of the corrections, but also as a result of the additions and deletions.
It is also our intention to add the names of victims with a known burial place, so that this will be a complete list of the Dutch Jews who died in the Holocaust.
We apologize in advance for any errors or omissions that may arise.