7 May 1946 – Anton Mussert

Anton MussertDutch Nazi-sympathiser, Anton Mussert copped a few rounds of bullets after he faced a firing squad for his right-wing activities in the Second World War.

Schmoozing and brown-nosing his way through the rise of Nazi German and occupation, he was instrumental in setting up the Dutch arm of the fascist party – with the misnomer National Socialist Movement (NSB) – and basing many of his ideologies on his hero Mussolini. But one difference between him and Il Duce was that while the party didn’t, Mussert fully subscribed to anti-Semitism. This he shared with his other hero, Hitler. And as Europe headed into war so the rise of fascism grew. He desperately believed that he played an important part in the war and that the Germans were acting in the best interests of the Dutch people.

But such was their disrespect that they agreed to call him De Leider – fine in Dutch because it means leader (ie ‘Füehrer’), but in German it means ‘unfortunately’.

Going Dutch

But who was he trying to kid? The Nazis couldn’t give a stuff about the Dutch. They were just interested in one less frontier to fight. Plus he was able to persuade people to fight the Bolsheviks in Russia, so the Dutch had their uses and Mussert was their way of keeping Holland quiet.

And he kept Holland under the thumb alright. The party gradually began adopted anti-Jewish ways and became more and more like its German counterpart. And Mussert’s heinous activities meant that of the 140,000 registered Jews resident in Holland, only 20 to 30% lived to see the world post-war. The rest were carted off to the likes of Bergen-Belsen, Auschwitz and Buchenwald, where they died or were murdered en mass in gas chambers.

Frank exchanges

Famously, one such victim was Anne Frank, the young diarist who captured the essence of the torturous existence of thousands of Jews, whose lives were played out in hiding during those terrifying years.
Mussert and Nazi German henchmen, such as Arthur Seyss-Inquart and Hans Rauter, saw to it that Jews were evicted from positions of power, such as the civil service and the law courts. Then the Nuremberg race laws were enforced in Holland at the beginning of 1941 and that was the start of the Holocaust rollercoaster proper.

But the Third Reich began to lose its edge. Slowly the Allies gained in strength and in doing so began to crush the spread of Nazism, and Mussert watched as the Allies clawed back France then Belgium, inching ever closer to the Dutch borders. By September 1944, the Dutch right-wingers were mobilising, knowing that that their safety was in jeopardy. They moved closer to the German border, ready to bolt, even closed down bank accounts and freed up their assets. Meanwhile the rest of the Dutch were welcoming the Allies with open arms, watching with glee as the net closed in tighter on their right-wing oppressors.

Going underground

As Europe marched inextricably towards freedom, so the 50,000 or so advocates of the NSB suddenly evaporated. They went into hiding, so when the Germans finally threw in the towel on 7 May 1945, so Mussert was arrested on that very day in The Hague.

Six months later he was found guilty of treason and crimes against humanity and sentenced to death. Then exactly a year to the day of his arrest 51-year-old Mussert faced a line of fire just five days short of his birthday, fatefully on the very spot where many Dutch citizens had also been killed.

But, startlingly, his Nazi spirit lives on. His body was stolen by the Vlaamse Militanten Orde – a Flemish right-wing organisation, which was finally outlawed in 1983.

Lest we forget

Poignant accounts of the Holocaust and beyond range from Anne Frank’s autobiographical diary, to fictionalised yet hauntingly harrowing depictions from D M Thomas, in novels such as The White Hotel and Pictures at an Exhibition.

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8 Responses to “7 May 1946 – Anton Mussert”

  1. hello
    i have made several trips to holland to find anton’s remains. i must tell you
    that the belgian vmo theory is only one of three. the others are listed
    below.
    1. he was exhumed not by the vmo but by his old honor guard in 1956 from
    the general cemetery in the hague then given to the vmo.

    2. the honor guard left with the wrong body. it was night, remember.

    3. the dutch police cleared out mass grave 22 at the general cemetery in
    the hague, burned all inside and scattered the ashes in the benenveld.

    4. after the dutch nazis failed, the dutch government dug him up and
    reburied him in secret.

    if you have a theory i would like to hear it.

    raad

  2. STEVEN RADFORD Says:

    HELLO
    I TRIED TO LOCATE MUSSERT’S BODY IN 2005.

    I WAS NEAR THROWN OUT OF THE GENERAL CEMETERY IN THE
    HAGUE.

    DOES ANYONE WANT TO HELP ME IN THIS EFFORT?

    I CAN FORWARD THE ARTICLE THE NEWSPAPER RAN ON MY RESEARCH.

    STEVEN RADFORD

  3. Having spent many years researching World War 2,the one thing I can absolutely tell you is that there is more to that conflict than meets the eye. It’s like peeling back the layers of an onion,until you finally get to the truth…This website gives a negative portrayal of Mussert,but it should be pointed out that there is the opposite view. Some see Mussert as a hero,and,like Hitler,a man ahead of his time,doomed to be misunderstood by the non-political masses. For more on this view I reccommend the book “Setting The Record Straight;A National Socialist Account Of The Second World War”,by A.V.Scharffenberg. For example,it is a historical FACT that Jews DID dominate the white-collar professions in some Euro countries…

    • james alphonse Isis Says:

      It is certainly NOT a historical fact that Jews dominated white-collar professions in some European countries – hardly surprising given that they amounted to a tiny percentage of the population. But, more to the point, you seem to treat this ‘fact’ as a justification for anti-Semitism. Tell me I’m wrong, please. Because what it says about you is that you blame others for your own sense of failure. Rather like Adolph, the failed artist and lover.

  4. Hans van Dorssen Says:

    My father Max van Dorssen shared a cell with Anton Mussert. My father was ultimately set free without charge. His cousin Albert (Appie) van Dorssen was sentenced and spent some time in prison. Anton Mussert taught Max some English during the time they spent together in the cell. Something that came in handy when the family migrated to Australia in 1951. More information is known to me and await your reply. Kinfd regards Hans van Dorssen

    • Mr.van Dorssen; Your comment is interesting. I have been saying for some time that Mussert is simply not understood by most people. I would classify him more as being on the Left than the right. As he himself is supposed to have said,” There is no nationalism without socialism.” Generally I hold the NSB in high regard. Have you done any writing about your family’s experiences? If so I would certainly be interested in reading it. Look forward to your reply—Martin

  5. James Says:

    Martin you are anti-Semitic and your view of history is twisted, you need professional help to cure you of your delusions!

  6. TO JAMES; YOU need “professional help” to learn to think INDEPENDENTLY,away from conventional assumptions. Read F.L. Carsten’s book “The Rise Of Fascism”. He states that in Hungary—-just as an example—Jews were only 5% of the population,yet they accounted for HALF of all attorneys,60% of doctors,and over 85% of persons in banking and finance (according to the 1920 census). So much for “anti-Semitism”.

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