Dutch Nazi collaborators attempted Netherlands coup before German invasion

Meinoud Rost van Tonningen at his wedding to Florentine Heubel, 21 December 1940
Meinoud Rost van Tonningen at his wedding to Florentine Heubel, 21 December 1940Photo: Spaarnestad / Wikimedia Commons

Dutch Nazi collaborator and leading member of fascist party NSB Menoud Rost van Tonningen and some of his fellows attempted a coup in the Netherlands in early in 1940, NOS reports based on research by historians Edwin Klijn and Robin te Slaa. The group of NSB members wanted to use the coup to prevent Germans invading the Netherlands.

The coup did not succeed and the Germans invaded the Netherlands on May 10th, 1940. Within five days of that date, the Dutch army had to capitulate. 

The two historians found this information in documents from the Central Intelligence Service. A reliable informant told the Service that Rost van Tonningen urged NSB leader Anton Mussert to commit a state coup. Rost van Tonningen saw this as the only way to prevent the German invasion. Mussert ignored the suggestion - he had his own agenda and secretly consulted with the Germans. Mussert had hopes that the Germans would put him in charge of the Dutch government after the invasion.

After the war Mussert was tried and sentenced to death. Rost van Tonningen was arrested in Scheveningen. He committed suicide a few days after his arrest. 

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