Operation Black Tulip

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For the novel, see The Black Tulip. For the hacking of Iranian users' Gmail, see DigiNotar.
Expulsion of Sudeten Germans following the end of World War II
Flight and expulsion of Germans during
and after World War II
(demographic estimates)
Wartime flight and evacuation
Post-war flight and expulsion
Later emigration

Operation Black Tulip was a plan in 1945 by Dutch minister of Justice Kolfschoten to evict all Germans from the Netherlands. The operation lasted from 1946 to 1948 and in the end 3,691 Germans (15% of German residents in the Netherlands) were deported.


After World War II, the Netherlands was a country in ruins and the major pre-war trade lines with Germany and Indonesia were severed. Because of the importance of trade with Germany, the proposed demand for compensation (25 billion Guilders—a tenfold of the actual damage) was dropped. But there was still a lot of resentment. Many people were arrested, most notably collaborators (NSB). The 25,000 people living in the Netherlands with German nationality (who often had Dutch wives and children) were branded as 'hostile subjects' (vijandelijke onderdanen). They were to be evicted in three groups in reverse order of entry. The first who had to leave were those who came after the start of the war (mostly factory workers), then those who came after 1932 (including political refugees, some of them Jews), and then the rest: many of whom were economic refugees from the 1920s.


The operation started on 11 September 1946 in Amsterdam, where Germans and their families were taken from their homes in the middle of the night and given one hour to collect fifty kilograms of luggage. They were allowed to take one hundred Guilders. The rest of their possessions went to the state. They were taken to internment camps near the German border, the biggest of which was Mariënbosch near Nijmegen.[1]

The allied forces that occupied Western Germany didn't like this operation because other countries might follow suit and western Germany was in too bad a state to receive all these newcomers. The British troops in Germany reacted by evicting 100,000 Dutch citizens in Germany to the Netherlands.[1]

The operation ended in 1948, and on 26 July 1951, the state of war with Germany officially ended, the Germans no longer being regarded as state enemies.


An episode of the Dutch TV show Andere Tijden was devoted to these events.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Bogaarts (1981)


External links[edit]

  • (Dutch) [1] Website Operatie Black Tulip]
  • (Dutch) the documentary Black Tulip.