Back in Amsterdam

Jun 9, 1945

The city of Amsterdam created a special agency to receive the large groups of returnees arriving at Central Station. This Inspection for Repatriation Activities was responsible for accompanying the returnees to accommodations in Amsterdam or escorting them to other villages and cities.

During repatriation no distinction was made between groups of returnees. No special attention was paid to Jewish returnees. The standpoint of the Dutch government was that no distinction should be made on the basis of race or belief as had happened during the war. And during the reception the special problems of the Jews were often not taken into account: not being able to return to a family that was no longer there; the knowledge that many relatives and friends had been murdered; and the loss of all possessions. Many Jewish returnees felt that they were not expected in the Netherlands and were also not welcome. Possessions that had been given in safekeeping to neighbors were sometimes not given back. Some of the Dutch even showed themselves to be anti-Semitic.