National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands
|National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands|
|Leader||Anton Mussert (1931-1945)|
|Founded||14 December 1931|
|Dissolved||6 May 1945(banned)|
|Succeeded by||None; Banned|
|Newspaper||Volk en Vaderland (People & Fatherland)|
|Political position||Far right|
|Part of a series on|
|Emblem of the Nazi Party|
Ideology and issues
The NSB started out as a classical fascist party, which based itself on the principles of leadership. It wanted a fascist state with a compliant government, fascist order and state control. It put the "national interest" above the individual interest and the interest of social groups, (pillars) that had characterized Dutch society. The party was anti-parliamentary and authoritarian. Its program, which was modeled on the program of the German Nazi Party, lacked reference to anti-semitic or racist ideology of the Nazi Party. After 1936, under the influence of Meinoud Rost van Tonningen, the party became more oriented towards the Nazi Party and took over its anti-semitic and racist ideas. It also began to sympathize with the aggressive foreign policy of Italy and Germany.
Practical demands of the NSB were: abolition of individual voting rights, corporatism, a duty to work and serve in the army, limits on the freedom of the press, laws against strikes. It demanded a reunification of the Netherlands with Flanders and French Flanders in a Greater Netherlands, which would also control a large colonial empire consisting of Belgian Congo, Dutch East Indies and perhaps South Africa. This state would not be a part of Germany, but only an independent loyal ally to Germany.
Rituals and symbols
The NSB copied elements of the Italian Fascists and German Nazis. Like Mussolini's Fascists, the NSB uniforms included black shirts, and the Party adopted the Fascist salute. Since 1933 it used the salute "Hou Zee!", which, Anton Mussert said, connoted courage and referred to the glorious maritime history of the Dutch Republic. It also began using titles like Leider for Mussert (Leader; similar to Duce or FĂŒhrer), Kameraad for men (comrade) and Kameraadske ('comradess', a neologism) for women. One party slogan was "Mussert or Moscow", evoking the Fascist defense against supposed Communist subversion. Although the Party later adopted the Nazi red and black colors and the swastika symbol, the original NSB flag used the Prince's Flag. A blue wolfsangel (a hooked symbol of a wolf trap) on a white disc was set against an orange field.
Leadership and support
This table shows the results of the NSB in elections to the House of Representatives (lower house), the Senate, the States-Provincial, and the party's political leadership: the fractievoorzitter, is the chair of the parliamentary party and the lijsttrekker is the party's top candidate in the general election, these posts are normally taken by the party's leader. The membership of NSB is also represented. The House of Representatives then had 100 members.
|1935||0||2||44||Max de Marchant et d'Ansembourg**||no elections||33000|
|1936||0||2||44||Max de Marchant et d'Ansembourg**||no elections||52000|
|1937||4||5||44||Anton Mussert||Anton Mussert||48000|
|1938||4||5||44||Anton Mussert||no elections||39000|
|1939||4||5||21||Anton Mussert||no elections||37000|
|1940||4||5||21||Anton Mussert||no elections||32000|
Municipal and provincial government
Before 1940 the NSB held seats in provincial and municipal legislatures, but did not cooperate in any governments. After 1940 these legislatures stopped functioning and the NSB's role in local and provincial legislatures expanded. All newly appointed mayors were member of the NSB.
The following figure shows the election results of the provincial elections of 1935 and 1939, per province. It shows the areas where the NSB was strong, namely in South Holland, North Holland and Gelderland. The NSB was the strongest in Drenthe and Limburg. In 1935, it became the second largest party in Limburg. The party was weaker in Friesland, North Brabant and Zeeland.
In 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, the party lost nearly half of its provincial seats.
|Province||Result 1935 (seats)||Result 1939 (seats)|
The NSB drew its main support from the middle class: civil servants, farmers, business people and soldiers supported the party. Most of these people were not part of the strong pillarized organisations surrounding the socialist unions, and the Protestant and Catholic Churches, instead they were often a loose member of the weaker liberal pillar, which was very diverse. The NSB party scored particularly well in Drenthe, Gelderland and the towns of Limburg at the border with Germany.
Historians Loe De Jong and A.A. De Jonge have characterized NSB members as socially isolated opportunists who were motivated to join the NSB through a mix of opportunism, idealism and social connections.
|Number of NSB members|
|January 1, 1933||900|
|January 1, 1934||21 000|
|January 1, 1935||33 000|
|January 1, 1936||52 000|
|January 1, 1937||48 000|
|January 1, 1938||39 000|
|January 1, 1939||37 000|
|January 1, 1940||32 000|
|March 1940||33 342|
|October 31, 1941||90 788|
|March 31, 1943||99 353|
|September 30, 1943||101 314|
The NSB was surrounded by several party organizations. It published a weekly newspaper, Volk en Vaderland ("Folk and Fatherland"). Between 1931 and 1935 the party had its own paramilitary organization, the black uniformed Weerbaarheidsafdeling (WA), similar to the Sturmabteilung of the Nazi Party. It was refounded in 1940. It also founded its own youth organization, Jeugdstorm (Youthstorm); a farmers' organization; and a daily newspaper, Het Nationale Dagblad (The National Daily).
The term "NSB'er" has become synonymous with traitor in the Netherlands, and is used as an insult.
A grim joke after WW II, made by Dutch Resistance fighters, is that former NSB members insisted that their acronym actually stood for "Niet So [zo] Bedoeld" or "I didn't mean it" as they attempted to and downplay their treachery.
NSB Meeting (Utrecht 1941)
(The Hague 1941)
(The Hague 1941)
Relationships to other parties
The NSB was methodically isolated by other parties. Before the war the socialist Social Democratic Workers' Party and Nederlands Verbond van Vakverenigingen (Dutch Association of Trade Unions) coordinated counter-demonstrations and propaganda with a separate organization 'Freedom, Labour and Bread'.
- Jong 1956, p73.
- Orlow, Dietrich (2010). The Nazi Party 1919-1945: A Complete History. New York: Enigma Books. pp. 420â422. ISBN 978-0-9824911-9-5. Retrieved 2013-08-05.
- Kroener, Bernhard R.; MĂŒller, Rolf-Dieter; Umbreit, Hans (2000). Germany and the Second World War:Organization and mobilization of the German sphere of power. Wartime administration, economy, and manpower resources 1939-1941. Oxford University Press. p. 390. ISBN 0-19-822887-2.
- "Mussert, Anton" in Current Biography 1941, p621.
- Josje Damsma, and Erik Schumacher, "De strijd om Amsterdam," Bijdragen en Mededelingen betreffende de Geschiedenis der Nederlanden (2009) 124#3 , pp 329-348
- De zwarte kameraden, een geĂŻllustreerde geschiedenis van de NSB, onder redactie van J. Zwaan. Van Holkema & Warendorf, Weesp, 1984. ISBN 90-269-6510-9.
- "De WA (Weerbaarheidsafdeling) van de NSB". Europeana (in Dutch). Retrieved 8 September 2014.