'Enkel en alleen in dit geval'. Pleidooien voor de vrijlating van voormalig collaborateurs na de Tweede Wereldoorlog in Nederland
Keywords:Second World War, National Socialism
Abstract‘Only and Exclusively in this Case’. Pleas for the Release of Former Collaborators after the Second World War in the Netherlands
After the Second World War ended in the Netherlands, more than 100.000 people suspected of collaborating were arrested. It was long argued that during and after the war the (former) national socialist families who were ‘in the wrong’ stood isolated against the ‘good’ Dutchmen. This article examines the mentality of the population by making use of the letters of support which were written by family, friends or neighbours to the police and judicial bodies in defense of those who were accused of collaboration. No political arguments were given in the letters, the social-psychological elements of collaboration were put first. The guilt was reduced by for example pointing at the restoration of the family, a poor education, bad social and economic circumstances and poor intellectual development. In this way, the suspects were individualized and disconnected from the group that was seen as being ‘in the wrong’. This article is part of the special issue 'A New Historiography of the Collaboration'.
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