The Netherlands Commemorates Its Holocaust

Since 1960, the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam has been the city’s only major monument to the destruction of its Jewish community during the Shoah. That changed this year, when the city council approved construction of a wall commemorating the approximately 102,000 Dutch Jews killed at the hands of the Nazis, and a National Holocaust Museum opened its doors. Nina Siegal describes the significance of these new efforts to preserve the realities of the country’s wartime history:

Between 75 and 80 percent of the Netherlands’ Jews were killed during the war, the highest rate in Western Europe. . . . By comparison, neighboring Belgium lost about 40 percent of its Jewish population, and France lost about 25 percent. . . .

Beginning in 1943, about 34,000 Dutch Jews were sent to the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, and only eighteen survived. . . . This relatively unknown camp accounted for about a third of the Dutch Jewish victims of the Holocaust . . . ; Auschwitz accounted for most of the others. . . .

The Anne Frank House, which had 1.2 million visitors last year, is one of the most popular attractions in the Netherlands. . . . But those who have promoted the new projects fear that people may come away from her [story] with the impression that most Dutch citizens were protective of their Jewish neighbors, and that the Dutch resistance was more effective than it was.

Read more at New York Times

More about: Anne Frank, History & Ideas, Holocaust, Holocaust remembrance, Netherlands, Sobibor


Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria