NS WWII compensation must include resistance fighters, interest group says

A former Nazi deportation train is now a monument at Camp Westerbork
A former Nazi deportation train is now a monument at Camp WesterborkPhoto: CreativeNature/DepositPhotos

The compensation arrangement NS made for victims of the Holocaust and their relatives should also apply to resistance fighters, according to association Children of Resistance Participants 1940-45. NS is using double standards and "forgot" the families of Dutch resistance fighters, chairman Henk Mreijen said to the Telegraaf.

In June NS announced that it will pay compensation to the around 5 thousand survivors of the Holocaust, their widows and widowers, and their children. The around 500 Jewish, Romani and Sinti people who were transported by NS to Westerbork and are still alive will each receive 15 thousand euros. Widows and widowers will receive 7,500 euros each. And children will receive between 5 thousand and 7,500 euros. 

But there is a group of victims NS forgot about and that is the resistance fighters, Mreijen said to the newpaper. "There are quite a few loose ends to the NS scheme that nobody can understand." He stressed that this is not about the money, but about recognition.

The umbrella organization for associations around resistance fighters in the Second World War, the COVVS, raised this issue with NS and the committee that advised the rail company to come up with an arrangement, Mreijen said. According to him, NS and the committee haven't responded yet. 

Committee chairman Job Cohen said to the newspaper that the committee has no say in who NS compensates, only the rail company can set that criteria. NS said that it realizes many people were transported and that it is looking at options for collective recognition. 

During the Second World War, NS transported a total of 110 thousand Jewish, Romani and Sinti people to the Westerbork transit camp, from where they were taken to extermination camps Auschwitz and Sobibor, according to NOS. Only around 5 thousand of them returned alive. NS also built a line to Westerbork from the Meppel-Groningen railway line on behalf of the Nazis. The rail company never protested against the measures imposed by the Germans and paid for the implementation thereof. It is estimated that NS earned 2.5 million guilders from the transport of Holocaust victims.