AMSTERDAM (JTA) — Eighty years ago on Thursday, this city was silent. The soft bell chimes of the ubiquitous trams, the main mode of local transportation and a constant presence to this day, were conspicuously absent.
It was the start of a consequential yet often-overlooked milestone of the Holocaust: the February Strike.
On Feb. 25, 1941, at least 100,000 Dutchmen stopped working to protest the Nazis’ persecution of Jews, bringing the economy to a halt for days. Although it was soon broken and German authorities retaliated with even more violence, it galvanized the Dutch resistance and became a lasting symbol of it. Today it is known as the first and largest act of civilian insurrection over the treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.
Stay up to date on conference news and updates