Exemption Stamps
   During the German occupation of the Netherlands, there was a pool of approximately 140,000 Jews targeted for deportation. Because trains were unavailable on a daily basis to carry Jews to the death camps, the Germans prioritized the list of Jews scheduled for deportation. This plan was implemented through the distribution of stamps that “guaranteed” exemptions from deportations. Exemption stamps were issued for every category of Jew found in the Netherlands, including stamps for baptized Jews, Jews working in the military industries, Jews in mixed marriages, Jews working for the Jewish Council (Joodse Raud), and so on. About one of six Jews was a recipient of the stamps as a result of their association with the Jewish Council. The system of allocating stamps, however, often turned on the influence one had with the Jewish Council or a connection with an important German official. The result was a desperate competition to gain recognition that one was an “indispensable Jew” and therefore worthy of the exemption stamp.

Historical dictionary of the Holocaust. . 2014.

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