2004
Volume 126, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163

Abstract

This article is a critical review of the historical study ‘Wij weten niets van hun lot.’ Gewone Nederlanders en de Holocaust (‘We know nothing about their fate.’ Ordinary Dutchmen and the Holocaust’, 2012) by Bart van der Boom. Based on the reading of Jewish and non-Jewish war diaries, the Dutch historian Van der Boom claims bystanders and accomplices were not indifferent to the fate of Jews. They were just as obedient or cooperative as Jews because they were unaware of the unfolding Holocaust. According to Van der Boom the ‘guilty bystander’ does not exist. In our article we criticize the argument of Van der Boom and oppose particularly the tendency in the book to equate the situation of Jews with that of the non-Jewish population. We also challenge his interpretation of diaries, his dismissal of the role of antisemitism and the problems involving hiding, as well as his definitions of the Holocaust and ‘knowledge’.

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2013-11-01
2022-01-21
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  • Article Type: Research Article
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