Arthur Seyys-Inquart on the Goals of German Policy
in the Netherlands Generally and the Jews Specifically

(March 12, 1941)


The “February strike” tarnished the status of Reichskommissar Seyss-Inquart in the eyes of the Third Reich leadership. In the Netherlands, too, it generated fierce anti-German public sentiment. Therefore, Seyss-Inquart thought it best to clarify unequivocally his fealty to Hitler and the goals of his policy in Holland. He communicated this loyalty to an audience of members of the German Nazi Party in Holland (“Arbeitsbereich der NSDAP”), in the famous Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. A pamphlet in which Seyss-Inquarts remarks were translated into Dutch contained thirty one densely printed pages. Below are several excerts from the beginning and end of the speech, and from the segment pertaining to the Jews.


One can assert with no doubt that about the turn [the beginning] of the sixteenth century, the Dutch people, exactly like the other tribes [Volksstammen] who were then combined in the common Reich, had at its disposal the characteristics [or virtues] and preconditions to make it in a conform further development—an element of the German people [Deutsche volk] into which other tribes who remained in the Reich have melted in the meantime.

To state this means, that the Dutch and the Germans—from the viewpoint of this national state—have not grown into one people, but that they have at their disposal the same racial conditions, and thus are according to blood related peoples, and capable of an ever-growing intercourse....

From the fact that the occupied territories to the west of the former border of the German Reich only in the Netherlands a civil administration has been introduced, it must be concluded that the Fuehrer did not want to treat the Netherlands primarily from the point of view that it is [just] a country occupied by German military forces....

The Jews are not Dutch for us. They are an enemy with whom we cannot agree upon cease-fire or peace.... We will hit the Jews wherever we find them, and those who side with them shall have to bear the consequences. The Fuehrer has declared that the role of the Jews in Europe has come to an end, so it has come to an end. The only thing we can talk about is the creation of a bearable state of transition.... But when the time comes that Germany will not have to take care any more for the maintenance of order and public life as an occupying power, then the Dutch people will have to choose if it wants to risk its companiable going together with the German people because of the Jews....

We hope [ wollen ] that the Dutch themselves, from their inner conviction and with their whole heart [ mit dem Einsatz ihres ganzen Wesens ] shall fall in [ antreten ] for the great work of construction of our Germanic communal range and with that—of a new Europe....

So we have fallen in [we have come] here, we stay here on this territory to fulfill a historic task. We will not budge an inch from this ground before this task is fulfilled.... We are really full of religious fanaticism....

Source: Rede van den Rijkscommissaris Rijksminister Dr. Seyss-Inquart geheouden op Woensdag 12 Maart 1941 in het Concertgebouw te Amsterdam voor het Arbeitsbereich der NSDAP in de Nederlanden (n.p., n.d.), pp. 6, 12, 21-22, 30-31.


Source: Yad Vashem