On strike for injustice
Dutch population went on strike to try and make a difference
Some measures taken by the Germans met with a lot of resistance. During the occupation period, three major strikes took place in the Netherlands. The occupier reacts to all strikes with harsh reprisal measures: civilians are executed or deported to the camps.
Student and Professors' strike (1940)
When you talk about the great strike, you think of the February strike, yet it was a hit in Delft a few months earlier. On November 23, students wanted to show their support to a Jewish professor (Josephus Jitta) for being fired by the Germans. They were denied entry, after which the students went on strike on Monday 25 and Tuesday 26 November 1940. The strike came completely unexpected for the Germans and was a great success. The protest of the students in Delft is not an isolated one. Simultaneously with the firing of Jewish teachers, another anti-Jewish measure was announced by the Nazis. Everyone in government service had to sign an Aryan declaration, in short, teachers had to declare that they were not Jews. Subsequently, on November 26, 1940, two professors at the University of Leiden went on strike. Ultimately, ten teachers were fired.
February strike (1941)
On February 22, 1941, two major raids took place in Amsterdam. 425 Jewish men were herded together on Jonas Daniël Meijerplein and deported to concentration camps. In protest, tens of thousands of Amsterdammers put down their work during the following three days. This protest strike spreads to other cities and goes down in history as the February strike.
April/May strike (1943)
In the spring of 1943, one of the largest strikes in the Netherlands during the war took place. Because Germany was suffering great losses on the Eastern Front, Dutch men had to go to Germany to work in the factories. Alos known as the Arbeitseinsatz. More than 250.000 men are taken prisoner of war. Because many Dutch people find this measure unacceptable they go on strike on 29 April. As farmers also strike there is no longer a milk supply making this strike to be known also as the "milk strike."
Railroad strike (1944)
In September 1944, the Dutch government in London calls for a railway strike in the Netherlands. The strike must halt German troop transport in order for the Allied forces to be able to initiate their air landings at Arnhem for Operation Market Garden. Over 30.000 rail workers responded to the call. The Germans are not bothered by the strike because German soldiers and staff were used to operate the trains.