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WWII archive found on Dutch Jews’ arrests

Associated Press / April 13, 2011

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AMSTERDAM — The Netherlands’ national archive said yesterday that it has gathered new information about the arrests and deportations of some 9,000 Dutch Jews during World War II.

The information, from a sealed archive on wartime collaborators, will reveal to some Dutch Jews the names of those who arrested their relatives and other facts about their final days as they were deported to Nazi concentration camps during the German occupation of the Netherlands from 1940 to 1945.

The project was carried out by journalist Ad van Liempt and a team of researchers who received special permission in September 2010 to review dossiers of 250 collaborators who are no longer alive.

It primarily centers on the work of the “Henneicke Column,’’ a group of Dutch Nazi collaborators working in the investigative division of the government’s Central Bureau for Jewish Emigration, which employed police and bounty hunters to find Jews who had escaped the net of the Nazis and their informers.

While researching a book on the bounty hunters in 2002 — “A Price on Their Heads’’ — van Liempt found information in the archive he thought would be useful to victims but knew they would be unable to obtain.

There are 500,000 dossiers on 310,000 collaborators at the archive’s collection on special postwar tribunals, but those records are sealed until those named inside have died.

In addition, the archive is organized by collaborator name, rather than by victim, making it harder for relatives to know where to look.

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