The Netherlands at War

Author's Preface

1. John Keymor, in a sixteenth-century tract.

Chapter I: Introductory

1. The following is an extract from the German Note:--"The true French and British intention is an attack on Germany in the West through a long-prepared and now imminent attack against the Rühr district by way of Holland and Belgium. Germany recognized and respected Dutch and Belgian integrity on condition that these countries were strictly neutral in case of a conflict between Germany and the Allies. Belgium and Holland did not fulfil this condition. Though they tried to keep the appearance of neutrality, the two countries in fact favoured Germany's opponents.... Belgian and Dutch newspapers even had surpassed the British and French papers in their anti-German attitude. High officials and the General Staffs of both countries had given actual assistance to the British Secret Service in its efforts to bring about a revolution in Germany and the overthrow of the Fuehrer and the present Government."

2. On August 26th, 1939, prior to the outbreak of the war, and almost nine months before the invasion of the Netherlands by Germany, the German Minister at The Hague was received by the Queen in the presence of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, when he declared on behalf of his Government that 'We are decided with reference to the Netherlands, in conformity with the traditional friendly relations between the two countries and aware of the Netherlands' acknowledged policy of independence, to adopt an attitude which in no single circumstance will touch the inviolability of the Netherlands and which at all times will respect Netherlands territory....'

3. Walter Strickland, sometime agent of the English Parliament at The Hague, in a letter to the Council of State in London, 1649.

4. Jonkheer Beelaerts van Blokland, Vice-President of the Council of State, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, in an article in the Fortnightly Review.

Chapter II:

1. Based on official Dutch documents.

2. In May 1940 the late Lord Lloyd of Dolobran wrote to the writer: 'I do indeed recognize how right you have been about Holland and never doubted you were, but it was not possible to do the things you wanted done alone....'

3. The absence of ultimatums, the new German diplomatic technique of inventing the mammoth lie and then parading it as truth, deciding to inflict summary chastisement on and exact immediate retribution from smaller, harmless nations, in this case prevented the Government of the Netherlands from taking all those normal preventive measures--such as rounding up potential enemy-subjects--which, if war is felt to be imminent, are taken as a matter of course to safeguard the national interest. The German invasion of the Netherlands without even twenty-four hours' notice enabled the 'Fifth Column' to carry out its despicable task to perfection.

Chapter III:

1. Planted areas (exclusive of native holdings):

  Acres     Acres
Hevea rubber 1,487,000   Tea 320,000
Oil palms 230,000   Coffee 257,000
Sugar cane 210,000   Tobacco 105,000
Cinchona 42,000  

2. On December 31st, 1938, the population consisted of 174,396 persons, of whom 2,017 were Europeans, 68,555 Creoles, 32,123 Netherlands East Indians, mostly Javanese, 44,474 British Indians, 2,170 Chinese, 19,032 negroes, 2,816 aboriginal Indians and 3,250 others. The capital, Paramaribo, has a population of 52,760.

Chapter IV:

1. The Singapore correspondent of the London Times in a dispatch to his paper dated February 27, 1941.

Chapter V:

1. In all this, it should be understood clearly that of the one hundred members of the Second Chamber of the States-General there were only three Communists and that the National-Socialists had four representatives.

Chapter VI:

1. Harland Manchester, in Harper's Magazine, September 1940.

Chapter VII:

1. Cf. Keymor, p. xi.

2. The only exception is coal from the Limburg mines, which has helped to build up the country's industrial prosperity.

3. Stipulated in a treaty concluded between Henry VII and Philip of Burgundy, then sovereign ruler of Holland.

Chapter VIII:

Chapter IX:

1. Since these lines were written the first, Rudolf Hess, has thrown himself on Britain's mercy.

2. i.e. the Netherlands, Belgium, Norway, Sweden and Denmark.

Transcribed and formatted for HTML by Patrick Clancey, HyperWar Foundation