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2017
Balans
, Amsterdam

Kwesties van leven en dood Het Nederlandse Rode Kruis in de Tweede Wereldoorlog

Founded in 1867, the Dutch Red Cross was never more popular than immediately after the Second World War. In the months after the liberation, the number of members increased at an unprecedented pace. At the same time, the organisation was severely criticised. The Red Cross had abandoned the persecuted Jews and political prisoners - both in the concentration camps and upon their return. Hoping for permission to continue its humanitarian work in accordance with the Red Cross Conventions, the distinguished executive committee in The Hague had avoided provoking the Nazis. However, the Nazi terror was not the only obstacle to the provision of aid. The policies of the Allies and the formal rules of the Red Cross, although intended to facilitate aid, sometimes hindered their humanitarian work.

In this book, Regina Grüter describes the history of the Dutch Red Cross during the Second World War. What were the priorities of the organisation and those of the London Committee of the Dutch Red Cross, established in May 1940? How did the provisions of the Allies hamper the delivery of aid? And what did go well? Local Red Cross branches and volunteers risked their lives to help the victims of the bombings and of the fierce final stage of the war. Thus, the success of the organisation as a whole depended on individual initiatives, personal courage, and resourcefulness. It was not until 2005 that the Red Cross acknowledged it had done little or nothing to help the Jewish community during the Second World War.

 

Regina Grüter

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