Dutch Bounty Hunters Preyed on Jews During Holocaust, Research Shows

As many as 80 bounty hunters roamed the Netherlands during the German occupation.

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Dozens of Dutchmen preyed on Jews for cash during the Holocaust, according to a new study.

According to research by Pinchas Bar Efrat, as many as 80 bounty hunters roamed the Netherlands during the German occupation in World War II.

Led by two men, Wim Henneicke and Willem Briede, the bounty hunters were paid by authorities five guilders for every Jew they brought in, the equivalent of a week’s pay for unskilled laborers. That bounty was raised to seven and a half guilders, and later to 40 guilders toward the end of World War II, the research showed.

The Henneicke Column, as the group of bounty hunters was known, extradited thousands of Jews, many of whom were murdered by the Nazis, but didn't stop there. It also extradited Dutchmen who hid Jews from the Nazis, the research showed.

Wim Henneicke was assassinated by the Dutch resistance in 1944. Briedé was sentenced to death in absentia after he escaped Holland in 1945 and settled in Germany, where he died of natural causes in 1962.

The findings of Bar Efrat, an 82-year-old Dutch native who two years ago received his doctorate in philosophy from Hebrew University, are based on months of research he conducted at the Dutch national archives in The Hague.

His findings added new details about the Henneicke Column to previous studies, including one by Dutch journalist Ad van Liempt.

Some of Bar Efrat's findings were published by the daily Maariv earlier this month.

A German motorcycle rider inquires a Dutch peasant woman the shortest way to his set destination, at an unknown location in Holland, May 24, 1940.Credit: AP