Seventy three years ago across Germany and Austria an event took place that has been burned into the annals of history. It became known as Kristalnacht and the events of that night became infamous and synonymous with racist driven hate crimes and were an eye opener for what was in store. Nazi Stormtroopers and civilians coordinated attacks across the Reichsland against Jewish owned stores, warehouses and synagogues. During that hateful, despicable night, 91 people lost their lives, 30,000 were arrested and incarcerated in concentration camps, and the world was forever altered.
Meanwhile in modern Europe, the Dutch have chosen to forget Europe’s history, a past it shares with Nazi Germany, a past were thousands of Dutch Jews were themselves boxed up in rail freight cars, transported to the death camps, their faiths unknown, families destroyed and lives lost.
Or maybe they have not forgotten. Maybe they have simply chosen to ignore their past. Because if you believe what has appeared in the press this week, it seems that the Dutch now see fit to zero in on unemployed Eastern Europeans for fear that they are turning to “petty crime” in this down economy. What’s worse is that this zeroing in on a specific ethnic group, whilst not necessarily new (they’ve been doing it to the Turkish and Moroccan populations here for ages) was only decided by regional Police Chiefs after they read similar anti-foreigner articles in the press. Can someone say “Wag the dog”?
Two quotes that caught my eye were:
‘Many people from central and eastern Europe have lost their jobs. We used to see them in public nuisance reports but they are now showing up in the crime figures. They lose their jobs and start to steal,’ Van Essen is quoted as saying. He says the rise in home break-ins in The Hague is due to eastern Europeans.
Rotterdam police have also decided to come down harder on eastern European suspects, the AD states.
‘Their share of car theft and break-ins is increasing. We are now more alert in areas where they cause the most nuisance,’ spokeswoman Marjan den Hollander is quoted as saying.
I’m already tired of these bullshit articles that have become an almost daily occurrence in all the Dutch press, explaining about how they are afraid of allowing Bulgarians and Romanians into the Netherlands on work visa’s. The simple fact of the matter is that these people WILL find work, because they get hired in jobs that the lazy Dutch refuse to take on because they deem these jobs beneath them. Examples would include vegetable and fruit picking in the market garden area’s, work in waste recycling plants, and basic hospitality services such as housekeeping and cleaning services. The fact is that agencies in these industries across Holland are crying out for staff, meanwhile the Netherlands still has 5.8% unemployment (11.2% if you include the long-term disability numbers) and rising. What are they so fearful of?
Maybe it’s the fear of competition? I already use a Lithuanian carpenter and an Estonian builder for my repairs. Why? Well for a start they’re more than 50% cheaper than their Dutch equivalent. Secondly, they do the job faster, with better quality and can be at my place sooner (none of this waiting around for weeks for an opening on their agenda) than their Dutch counterparts. And lastly, I have NEVER had to have my guys come back out to fix something that they didn’t do properly the first time around. Sadly I cannot say the same for the Dutch builders I have encountered over the years.
Now I can hear you already saying that my Eastern guys are probably cheaper because they don’t pay taxes etc. Not true. I get a valid invoice from them, they’re registered with the Chamber of Commerce and have all their EU certifications. They’re not cowboys.
Yes it’s true that during an economic downturn, petty crime, such as burglary and car theft increase. But are we really supposed to believe this xenophobic discriminatory claptrap hype that it’s all solely rests with the Poles or Romanians you meet walking down the street? What I find even more amazing is that both Ireland and the UK experienced huge influxes of Polish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Romanian and Estonian immigrants in the early 2000’s. There was a veritable mass exodus to the UK and Ireland. And then when the economy tanked, guess what? They returned home. They didn’t go off nicking everything in sight. No, they returned home and used the cash they’d accumulated to start up a business at home and ride the crest of the construction wave that’s going on in Poland, and Romania right now.
It seems to me that the police here in Holland are only good for two things….Doling out fines for cycling your bike with no lights, and kowtowing to an increasingly intolerant and xenophobic public who is hell bent on shoehorning them and the government into a public policy that Hitler would be proud of.