Download Full Text (1.1 MB)
typewritten and stamped official document dated November 22, 1941.
Information Provided by Michael D. Bulmash: Controversial Dutch civil servant J. L. Lentz was the consummate perfectionistic bureaucrat, working tirelessly as head of the Population Registration Office in The Hague to please his Nazi overlords in the effort to develop and redefine a population registration system, along with an identity card, which would effectively cover the entire population of the Netherlands. The German occupation authorities under Austrian Nazi Arthur Seyss-Inquart, adapted Lentz’s detailed work to create a central register of Jews with links between the central register and the municipal registration offices. The registration records, the identity cards, and Lentz’s 1942 report on location of Jews in the Netherlands, culminating in so-called “dot maps” showing population density of Jews by district, were ultimately used in the creation of transport lists by the SS, to better locate and apprehend Jews in order to facilitate deportation to extermination centers from the Netherlands. Ultimately, and perhaps unwittingly, the effect of Lentz’s obsessive diligence in developing these overlapping systems of identification, used to great effect by the Nazis, contributed to a survival rate of Jews in the Netherlands of only 27 percent.
This is an official document from Lentz as the head of the Population Registration Office in the Hague to the commissioners of the municipalities in the Netherlands dated 11/21/1941, referencing Nazi Occupation Regulation VO 6/1941, which is the requirement that all persons of Jewish blood, whole or part, must register within a specified period of time. Lentz had been tasked creating and assembling the central register of all persons of Jewish blood, whole or part. He refers to the Personal Identification Card (Persoonsbewijs) which he has developed to the great pleasure of the Nazi Occupation Administration in the Netherlands: “If necessary, I hereby confirm that in the note in box 6 of the Personal Identification Card and the identification theron relating to the quality (J, GI or GI) as a person of Jewish blood, who, in accordance with Regulation 6/1941, may never be changed without my prior written permission. I will gladly receive a statement from you of any changes made so far without my prior knowledge.” In all probability Lentz was addressing here the Nuremberg Law breakdown of the degree of any Jewish individual’s Jewishness; i.e., whether the New is a full Jew or a Mischlinge. It was an accepted fact for the Nazi that a Jew was a Jew by race, thus a person’s “degree of Jewishness” would be determined by a number of factors. However, for the Nazis, to the extent that one grandparent is Jewish, the individual in question would be considered a Jew. Once an individual registered, they would receive a letter confirming their registration with the pertinent information necessary to put on the Identification Card. Lentz would be able to tell the German occupation administration the precise number of Jews and their category- Full, Half, or Quarter- living in the Netherlands.
11 1/2 x 8 1/4"
J.L. Lentz, Netherlands
"Document from J.L. Lentz, Head of Population Registration Office in The Hague, Regarding Categories for Jews" (1941). Bulmash Family Holocaust Collection. 2021.1.24.