Population Research and Policy Review 20: 457–481, 2001.
© 2002 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.
A reconstruction of the size and composition of Jewish Holocaust
survivors in the Netherlands, 1945
EVERT VAN IMHOFF
, HANNA VAN SOLINGE
& BERT JAN FLIM
Netherlands Interdisciplinary Demographic Institute (NIDI), The Hague, Netherlands;
Netherlands Institute for War Documentation (NIOD), Amsterdam, Netherlands
Abstract. Compared to other countries that have suffered from the Nazi occupation, the
destructive impact of the Holocaust on the Jewish population has been particularly strong in
the Netherlands. This paper gives a demographic reconstruction of the Jewish population in
the Netherlands by the end of the war (1945), disaggregated by age and sex. The reconstruction
is based on two approaches: a forward projection 1941–1945, starting from registration data
supplemented by information on Holocaust losses; and a backward projection 1966–1945,
starting from an enumeration of Halachic Jews carried out in 1966. The two approaches yield
two estimates that are comfortingly similar.
Keywords: Backward projection, Demographic reconstruction, Holocaust, Jewish population,
In the 1990s, more than ﬁve decades after the Shoah, world-wide discussion
has sprung up about the material restitution of Jewish property stolen during
the Nazi occupation of Europe. Legislation to restitute Jewish property is
being debated across Europe. It is now generally acknowledged that govern-
ments and ﬁnancial institutions have put too little effort in post-war years in
restoring this stolen property to the rightful owners. In many countries funds
have been established in order to enable some form of ﬁnancial compensation
to the survivors of the Holocaust, or their heirs.
In the Netherlands, in recognition of the deﬁciencies retrospectively iden-
tiﬁed in the restoration of rights after the Second World War (WWII hereafter)
schemes have been set up for compensation for stolen and incompletely re-
stored Jewish property. These schemes concern the return of Jewish assets
without the burden of having to prove the amount looted.
In the spring of 2000, the Dutch government, banks, insurance companies
and stock exchange, agreed with representatives of Dutch Jewry in the Neth-
erlands (Central Jewish Board) and in Israel (The Platform Israel) that a total
amount of NLG 764 million (about 300 million US$) will be made available
for material and moral compensation. A special foundation, the ‘Stichting