Amsterdam "accidentally" destroys WWI Jewish leasehold files

The city of Amsterdam "accidentally" destroyed Jewish leasehold files dating from WWII while digitizing, Mayor Eberhard van der Laan wrote to the city council on Tuesday. No information was lost. But he still regrets the incident deeply, AT5 reports. 

The files were destroyed while municipal workers were trying to separate these cases from the total leasehold archive. According to Van der Laan, it happened by "an erroneous assumption and inadequate monitoring."

In 2013 students discovered that Jewish war victims who went into hiding or were deported in World War II, still had to pay their overdue leasehold as well as a penalty when they returned to Amsterdam. Van der Laan promised to get to the bottom of this and said that no document should be destroyed while digitizing.

In total 3,952 boxes of leasehold files were digitized. Last summer 480 boxes were put aside, because they were believed to contain Jewish leasehold files. The remaining papers were destroyed.

Early last month, however, it was discovered that the 480 boxes contained documents on non-Jewish leaseholders of more recent years. The municipality therefore has to conclude that the Jewish records were destroyed.

They have already been digitized, so the information at least is not lost.

In May the municipality made 10 million euros available to the Jewish community as compensation for the leasehold Jewish war victims were charged. This was met by anger and confusion from some parts of the Jewish community.