Dutch bounty hunters preyed on Jews during Holocaust, study shows

Dutch bounty hunters preyed on Jews during Holocaust, study shows

By the end of WWII the men were paid the equivalent of eight times a week’s pay for unskilled laborers

THE HAGUE (JTA) — Dozens of Dutchmen preyed on Jews for cash during the Holocaust, according to a new study.

According to the research by Pinchas Bar Efrat, 82, as many as 80 bounty hunters roamed the Netherlands during the German occupation of 1940-5.

Led by two men, Wim Henneicke and Willem Briede, the bounty hunters were paid by authorities five guldens for every Jew they brought in, the equivalent of a week’s pay for unskilled laborers.

The research by Bar Efrat, a Dutch native who two years ago received his PhD in philosophy from Hebrew University, showed authorities raised the bounty to 7.5 and later to 40 guldens toward the end of World War II.

Some of the Bar Efrat’s findings were published earlier this month by the Israeli daily Maariv and are based on months of research he conducted at the Dutch national archives in The Hague. The group, known as the Henneicke Column, also extradited Dutchmen who hid Jews from the Nazis, the research showed.

The group extradited thousands of Jews, many of whom were murdered by the Nazis. Bar Efrat’s research added new details about the Henneicke Column to previous studies, including one by Dutch journalist Ad van Liempt.

Wim Henneicke was assassinated by the Dutch resistance in 1944. Briedé was sentenced to death in absentia after he escaped Holland in 1945 and settled in Germany, where he died of natural causes in 1962.

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