Another twenty municipalities will investigate how they behaved towards Jewish homeowners during and after World War II, report TV show The Monitor en journalistenplatform Pointer.
Amersfoort, Assen, Arnhem, Deventer, Groningen, Hilversum, Leeuwarden, Zaanstad and Zwolle, among others, are conducting a preliminary investigation in the archives or are planning to do so.
They do this partly as a result of earlier research by The Monitor and Pointer, who mapped over 5000 Jewish properties sold on the basis of German real estate books.
That research confirms that municipalities often bought looted Jewish properties and after the war charged Jewish owners with taxes for the period they were in hiding or in a concentration camp. They also made it difficult for Jewish owners to regain their property.
Additional tax for ground lease
In recent years, Amsterdam and The Hague have already conducted research into their own behavior during and after the war. This year Rotterdam, Utrecht and Eindhoven followed. These studies showed time and again that the government took a cold and businesslike attitude towards returning Jews. In Amsterdam and The Hague, Jews received an additional tax for the long lease for the period 1941-1945.
Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam have paid 14.6 million euros to relatives and Jewish organizations in response to the investigations.
Lawyer Liesbeth Zegveld says that all municipalities should investigate their attitude towards Jewish real estate owners. They shouldn’t have to wait for next of kin to ask for it.
“If you cause harm and damage, then you are obliged to repair it. It is somewhat unpleasant to do that only when the other person reports,” said Zegveld, who together with her client Salo Muller induced the Dutch Railways to make payments to victims. of the Holocaust.