‘Women reviled for wartime relationship with Germans deserve state apology’

Women with shaved heads after WWII. Photo: Spaarnestad Photo via HH

An association supporting the children and grandchildren of women who had a relationship with a soldier in the German army during World War II have asked the Dutch government to apologise  for the treatment meted out to them after the war.

After the liberation of the Netherlands women and girls known to have been in a relationship with a German soldier were ‘humiliated, incarcerated and raped. Often members of the Dutch home guard, which represented the state, were involved’, the Stichting Werkgroep Herkenning writes in a letter to prime minister Mark Rutte.

Women in some 118 towns and villages had their hair shaved off by a baying mob to mark them as ‘moffenhoer’ (kraut whore) and suffered further humiliation ‘with the knowledge of the authorities,’ the association states.




‘Most of the women are no longer alive but the apology matters all the same, especially for their children and grandchildren,’ chairman of the association Cuny Holthuis-Buve told the Volkskrant .

‘The way those women were treated not only traumatised them but their children as well. We feel that what happened to them was inhumane in the extreme.’

Last week Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg apologised for the way women with German boyfriends or husbands were treated in her country, as part of the celebration of 70 years of the UN treaty on human rights.

The association told Rutte in its letter that ‘the time is ripe for the Dutch state, which did nothing to protect the human rights of these women, apologised, as did the Norwegian government,’ the letter reads.


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