The Weerbaarheidsafdeling (typically called WA) was the paramilitary arm of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (Dutch: NSB), the fascist political party that collaborated with the German occupiers of the Netherlands during World War II. The organization, roughly equivalent to the German SA,[1] was founded in 1932 by Anton Mussert,[2] co-founder of the NSB in 1931 and its leader until the end of the war. Members wore and marched in black uniforms[3] and were thus called "blackshirts".[4] In 1933 the Dutch government banned the wearing of uniforms (by civilians),[5] and the WA was disbanded in 1935 in order to forestall the Dutch government's banning it. In 1940, after the German invasion, the WA became openly active again, and more ruthless than before. They specialized in violent attacks, particularly on the Dutch Jewish population.[2]


After the occupation the WA was put to use in much the same way as the SA was, forcing owners of restaurants and cafes to put up signs saying Jooden niet gewenscht ("Jews not welcome") and harassing and provoking inhabitants of neighbourhoods with many Jewish inhabitants. This led to the formation of "knokploegen", informal militias, and fights erupting between the WA and Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants. On February 9, 1941 there were riots on the Rembrandtplein between the WA and Jewish youngsters.[6] On February 11 a group of 40 to 50 WA members marched through Amsterdam to the Waterlooplein in the heart of the Jewish neighbourhood.[7] This led to a pitched battle with Jewish and inhabitants of the Jordaan in which WA member Koot was severely injured. He died a few days later; he was buried with great pomp, and stylized a martyr, in much the same way as Horst Wessel in Nazi Germany. The events led to the first razzias, deportations of Jews and formation of a ghetto in Amsterdam, and from there to the February strike.


  1. ^ Pierik, Perry (2006). Van Leningrad tot Berlijn: Nederlandse vrijwilligers in dienst van de Duitse Waffen-SS 1941-1945 : geschiedenis van het legioen, de brigade en de divisie 'Nederland'. Aspekt. ISBN 9789059114135.
  2. ^ a b "De WA (Weerbaarheidsafdeling) van de NSB". Europeana (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  3. ^ Beekers, Wouter P.; Woude, Roelof Enno van der (2008). Niet bij steen alleen: van sociale vereniging tot sociale onderneming, 1876-2003. Verloren. pp. 127, 164. ISBN 9789087040772.
  4. ^ "WA". Tweedewereldoorlog.nl (in Dutch). Nationaal Comité 4 en 5 mei. Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  5. ^ "De WA marcheert". Verzetsmuseum (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 September 2014.
  6. ^ "tweede-wereldoorlog.org, Februaristaking". Nederland in de Tweede Wereldoorlog (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 September 2014.
  7. ^ "Kameraden in de knokploeg van Koot". Ons Amsterdam (in Dutch). Retrieved 9 September 2014.
Adriaan van Hees

Adriaan Nicolaas Johan van Hees (3 May 1910 – 2 December 1976) was a Dutch actor and member of the National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (NSB). Van Hees was trained in Amsterdam and Germany, and spent a few years in theater and film. He quit professional acting to join the NSB, giving speeches and overseeing the organization's theater division, arguing that the change he thought necessary in Dutch drama had to come from political revolution. He became depressed and suicidal when he discovered he was part Jewish; still, he tried to join the SS but was denied. After the war, he was banned from the stage for ten years, and sentenced to five years in prison.

February strike

The February Strike (Dutch: Februaristaking) was a general strike in the German-occupied Netherlands during World War II, organized by the then-outlawed Communist Party of the Netherlands in defence of persecuted Dutch Jews and against the anti-Jewish measures and activities of the Nazis in general.

The direct causes were a series of arrests and pogroms held by the Germans in the Jewish neighbourhood of Amsterdam. It started on 25 February 1941 and lasted for two days; on 26 February, 300,000 people joined the strike. The strike was harshly suppressed by the Germans after three days.The 1941 February Strike is considered to be the first public protest against the Nazis in occupied Europe, and the only mass protest against the deportation of Jews to be organized by non-Jews.

Greater Germanic Reich

The Greater Germanic Reich (German: Großgermanisches Reich), fully styled the Greater Germanic Reich of the German Nation (German: Großgermanisches Reich der Deutschen Nation) is the official state name of the political entity that Nazi Germany tried to establish in Europe during World War II. Hitler also mentions a future Germanic State of German Nation (German: Germanischer Staat Deutscher Nation) in Mein Kampf. The territorial claims for the Greater Germanic Reich fluctuated over time. As early as the autumn of 1933, Hitler envisioned annexing such territories as Bohemia, Western Poland and Austria to Germany and creation of satellite or puppet states without economies or policies of their own.This pan-Germanic Empire was expected to assimilate practically all of Germanic Europe into an enormously expanded Reich. Territorially speaking, this encompassed the already-enlarged German Reich itself (consisting of pre-1938 Germany proper, Austria, Bohemia, Moravia, Alsace-Lorraine, Eupen-Malmedy, Memel, Lower Styria, Upper Carniola, Southern Carinthia and German-occupied Poland), the Netherlands, the Flemish part of Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, at least the German-speaking parts of Switzerland and Liechtenstein.The most notable exception was the United Kingdom, which was not projected as having to be reduced to a German province but to instead become an allied seafaring partner of the Germans. Another exception was German-populated territory in South Tyrol that was part of allied Italy. Aside from Germanic Europe, the Reich's western frontiers with France were to be reverted to those of the earlier Holy Roman Empire, which would have meant the complete annexation of all of Wallonia, French Switzerland and large areas of northern and eastern France. Additionally, the policy of Lebensraum planned mass expansion of Germany eastwards to the Ural Mountains. Hitler planned for the "surplus" Russian population living west of the Urals to be deported to the east of the Urals.

Maup Caransa

Maurits "Maup" Caransa (5 January 1916 – 6 August 2009) was a Dutch businessman who became one of the most important real-estate developers in post-World War II Amsterdam. Caransa was the first well-known Dutch person to be kidnapped for ransom. Caransa owned and built many notable buildings in Amsterdam including the Maupoleum (now demolished) and the Caransa Hotel (still standing on the Rembrandtplein). He influenced the Amsterdam football club AFC Ajax, through his friendship with its chairman, and by supporting the team and players financially.

National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands

The National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands (Dutch: Nationaal-Socialistische Beweging in Nederland, Dutch pronunciation: [nɑtsjoːˈnaːl soːʃaːˈlɪstisə bəˈʋeːɣɪŋ ɪn ˈneːdərlɑnt], NSB) was a Dutch fascist and later national socialist political party that called itself a "movement". As a parliamentary party participating in legislative elections, the NSB had some success during the 1930s. It remained the only legal party in the Netherlands during most of the Second World War.

Reichskommissariat Niederlande

The Reichskommissariat Niederlande was the civilian occupation regime set up by Germany in the German-occupied Netherlands during World War II. Its full title was the Reich Commissariat for the Occupied Dutch Territories (German: Reichskommissariat für die besetzten niederländischen Gebiete). The administration was headed by Arthur Seyss-Inquart, formerly the last chancellor of Austria before initiating its annexation by Germany (the Anschluss).

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