Hunting for Jews

1942-1945 The Netherlands

In January 1944, the Jewish Mr and Mrs Wittenburg were arrested by ‘Jew hunters’, Dutch police officers who were looking for Jews in hiding.  From the police station, they were taken to Westerbork. Then they were deported to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Heintje, the wife, was gassed in April 1944. Bram, her husband, was liberated by the Soviet army in 1945.

By the autumn of 1943, most Dutch Jews had been deported. But many Jews were still in hiding and the Nazis wanted to find them. Because the Dutch police was not cooperative enough for their liking, they set up special divisions with pro-German police officers to hunt down Jews. Among those officers were confirmed antisemites, who hated Jews, as well as opportunists, who were primarily interested in the premium they received for every Jew they caught, and in the belongings of the people in hiding and those accommodating them, which they secretly took during the raids.