On 20 October 1944, anticipating the end of the Second World War, the Dutch government-in-exile in London promulgated het Besluit Vijandelijk Vermogen (`the Decree on Enemy Property`). The Decree classed al nationals of Germany, Italy and Japan as enemies of the state, or vijandelijke onderdanen (`enemy citizens`), and entitled the Dutch State to confiscate all assets belonging to enemy citizens within the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Thousands of German civilians who resided and worked in the Netherlands were stripped of their assets, regardless of their place of residence or political allegiance and without any Dutch compensation. Some were arrested, imprisoned or expelled, whereas others left the Netherlands of their own accord. Even German Jewish refugees, who had been deprived of their German citizenship by the Nazis, were treated as enemy citizens.
Many tried to appeal their status of enemy citizen by submitting a request for an ontvijandingsverklaring (`declaration of de-enemisation`), with the hope of gaining their rights and assets back.
As this study shows, the question of how the politics of citizenship informed the treatment of German nationals illuminates a fundamental dilemma and a deep ambiguity regarding what makes someone a Dutch citizen.
Taal / Language : English
Paperback / softback
236 x 171 x 27 mm
VU University Press