Guardian of sovereign deceit

The Jewish Council, or Judischer Rat, operated during the Holocaust under Nazi occupation. These councils, comprised of Jewish community leaders, were forced to collaborate with the Nazis, implementing their orders and policies among the Jewish population. While some members attempted to mitigate the harm inflicted on their communities, their power was severely limited, and they often faced impossible choices between collaboration and resistance. The role of the Jewish Councils remains a subject of debate, as they were both victims of Nazi persecution and, in some cases, complicit in facilitating the Nazi agenda.

Now there is a lot going on in the world, there is a lot of unrest. In several countries, the violence of war flares up again. Where there is no war yet, there is plenty of provocation. The Arab countries are opposing the State of Israel, and vice versa.The land of Palestine, which until the year 1948 was mainly inhabited by various Arab peoples, is proclaimed the State of Israel in that year. Of course, this didn't just happen. As early as the year 1900, many Zionists Jews moved from Europe to Israel. This migration came about mainly because of the anti-Semitism that had arisen in Europe. The fact that the Jews are moving to Israel is not entirely unexpected, after all, it is the country where a large part of their roots lie.

Portrait of Karl Lueger (ca. 1900), mayor of Vienna. He used anti-Semitism as a political strategy.

To judge whether it was a right or wrong choice for the Jews to move to their own state is a question that we can only answer if we go back a bit in our time. As mentioned, "Jew-hatred" once reared its head in large parts of Europe, but when exactly, and why? There is no exact date in history for the origin of this hatred, but according to many history books it begins around 1500 ADAround the beginning of the sixteenth century of our history, this hatred slowly began to develop, according to many scholars it had to do with the rise of Christianity. The Jews became a minority group and became easy prey for the rest of the other believers. Over the centuries, it got worse and worse. It was whispered that the Jews did not belong, there would be something wrong with these people. It was thought that the Jews had evil intentions, and that they were plotting against the rest of the world. As a result, the Jews also became easy prey for Adolf Hitler in World War II.

As you will undoubtedly know, Hitler started the Second World War around 1939 with an invasion of Poland, he wanted to create a new order of absolute Nazi German hegemony in Europe. Even though religion played a less important role in Europe in the twentieth century, the Jews still became a target for Hitler and his Nazi party. They (He) pondered on the difference between races and peoples. According to them, the Jews belonged to a different people. Even converted or nationatlized Jews were not accepted.He even saw the Jews as the cause of losing the First World War.

At the outbreak of the war in the Netherlands, the persecution of the Jews also began to take on greater proportions, but this was slowly initiated by the Nazis, first a so-called Jewish Council was established. These were representative bodies in the Netherlands, Belgium and France that were led by Jews. Please note that these councils had nothing to do with the later deportation of Jews to the extermination camps, this only started in 1942. The establishment of the various councils gave the Jews the feeling that they were allowed to think and talk with the Nazis.

Two Jewish men with the famous star on their jackets that Jews were forced to wear during the Second World War. It is a picture of a scene out off the movie Jewish Counsel.

At that time, no one foresaw the disgusting plan that Hitler and his followers had of course already devised. The Nazis said they wanted to place the Jewish communities under a central leadership body to facilitate communication with them. The established councils functioned as a social platform, especially the people were increasingly isolated from the other population groups in the countries mentioned. They were increasingly isolated and thrown back on themselves, the beginning of the separation.

Photo's of the Jewish Council with one of the chairmen's David Cohen. the other chairman was Abraham Asscher.

There are many people in this world who are much better than me at sifting through history. People thought differently than they do now and may have had different motives. After the Second World War, research was done into the how and why of the Jewish councils, why did they listen to the Nazis?Many others also see "collaboration" with the Nazis as self-preservation, simply to be able to keep eating. A few years ago, I was at the famous war cemeteries in Normandy, France, and as I stood there among those thousands of graves, I thought to myself: "what had you done?"It occurred to me that in many wars the military can only "move forward", whether they like it or not. If they didn't carry out an order, it was desertion, the bullet in your own head was their reward. In the Netherlands we sometimes say that a "white lie" is allowed if you really can't do better, or don't know any better........ Were the Jewish councils in World War II good guardians of a gigantic betrayal?