Goodbye Holland

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Goodbye Holland
Directed by Willy Lindwer
Produced by Willy Lindwer and AVA Productions
Release dates
  • 2004 (2004)
Running time
90 minutes
Country Netherlands
Language English, and Dutch with English subtitles

Goodbye Holland is a 2004 documentary about the extermination of Dutch Jews during World War II. The film debunks the accepted notion that the Dutch were 'good' during the war, exposing how Dutch police and civil servants helped the Nazis implement massive deportations, which resulted in the death of 78 percent of the Jews in the Netherlands.

The documentary was made by Emmy Award winning director Willy Lindwer.


Anne Frank is perhaps the most familiar symbol of the Holocaust in the Netherlands, remembered for the diary in which she recorded her thoughts, feelings and reflections during her family's two years in hiding. But Anne's memory is most important as a symbol of the senseless destruction of Dutch Jewry, and the deeply rooted antisemitism in Dutch society that allowed for, and even encouraged, the murder of more than 100,000 Jews. Goodbye Holland tells the story of Dutch antisemitism and collaboration with the Nazis — which resulted in the highest percentage of Jewish fatalities in all of Western Europe — through the lens of one man's personal quest to put together the pieces of his family's history.

"What happened was not just the result of German evil. The[citation needed] Dutch were not willing to save Jews because they perceived the Jew as 'other'," says Jacques Wallage, Jewish son of Holocaust survivors who is now the current mayor of Groningen, once home to a vibrant Jewish community.

Classic Christian antisemitism was all-pervasive among the devoutly religious Dutch population, and in the wake of economic recession anti-Jewish sentiment reached an all-time high in prewar Netherlands. Many became willing collaborators, betraying Jews who were in hiding, like the Frank family, and actively participating in the destruction of the Jews of the Netherlands. The Dutch were "fully at the disposal of the Nazis, and in some cases, the Germans didn't have to do anything, because the Dutch willingly carried out the deportations," the mayor explains. Others merely "looked the other way, so they didn't have to see anything."


Willy Lindwer, a native of Amsterdam, is the son of Holocaust survivors. He graducated from the Netherlands Film Academy in Amsterdam in 1971.[1] He founded the production company AVA Productions in 1985, which has been dedicated to producing international documentaries that are distributed world wide that often focus on the Holocaust or Jewish themes.[1]

In Goodbye Holland, Willy Lindwer investigates the story of his parents' survival in hiding, and of the betrayal of an aunt and uncle who were hidden in a Dutch home nearby. In the process, Lindwer meets with Dutch Holocaust survivors, and children of survivors like himself. In addition, he speaks with former members of the Dutch police force that operated under Nazi occupation. What emerges is a terrifying tale of collaboration between ordinary Dutch citizens and the Nazi regime that led to the annihilation of nearly an entire population.


Goodbye Holland was nominated for an Israeli Academy Award.


See also[edit]

Other documentaries about Jews in World War II:



  • "Goodbye Holland". The Willy Lindwer Film and Video Collection. Retrieved September 5.  Check date values in: |access-date= (help)

External links[edit]