Concentration camp survivors are calling for The Hague’s city council to compensate Holocaust victims whose property was expropriated during World War II.
Eddy Boas, who was deported to Bergen-Belsen as a toddler, told Omroep West his family were shunned by the authorities when they tried to return to their house in Kraijenhoffstraat. They later emigrated to Australia.
‘My parents knocked on the door of our house, but other people opened. They told my parents to get lost. The police and the municipality did nothing.’
The organisation Stichting Joods Erfgoed Den Haag has asked for the civic authorities to investigate the fate of the city’s Holocaust survivors, after Amsterdam’s city council agreed earlier this year to repay municipal taxes imposed on Jews who returned home after the war.
During the German occupation the government repossessed Jewish-owned homes and either reclassified the owners as tenants or evicted them. In The Hague many of the homes were bought for the municipality on the initiative of the city’s national socialist mayor, Harmen Westra.
Boas said his father was ordered to pay back taxes to the municipality after the war to cover the period that his family spent in Bergen-Belsen. ‘It is a scandal that this happened,’ he said. ‘The municipality of The Hague made big mistakes and the Dutch state should be held accountable.’
A spokesman for the city council said mayor Jozias van Aartsen intended to hold an inquiry into restitution for The Hague’s Jews as soon as possible.
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