Dutch communists commemorate 81st anniversary of 1941 February Strike 

Under the call of the Communist Party of Netherlands (CPN), the Dutch working class organized a heroic strike on February 25 and 26, 1941 against the persecution of Jews in the country under Nazi Germany occupation

February 24, 2022 by Peoples Dispatch
February Strike - Netherlands
Mobilization in Amsterdam. (Photo: via CJB)

On Sunday, February 20, anti-fascist and working class sections in the Netherlands commemorated the 81st anniversary of the February Strike of 1941, organized in opposition to the persecution of the Jewish community in the Netherlands under Nazi occupation. The New Communist Party of Netherlands (NCPN) and the Communist Youth Movement (CJB) organized a gathering on Sunday at Noordermarkt in Amsterdam to mark the anniversary. Representatives of fraternal communist groups from abroad, including the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) and the Socialist German Workers Youth (SDAJ), also participated. Following the gathering, a march was held in the city where participants raised the slogans “Not Then, Not Now, Never Again Fascism!”

While Netherlands was under Nazi German occupation, on February 22 and 23 of 1941, Amsterdam witnessed brutal raids in which hundreds of Jewish men were arrested. To protest and resist the persecution of Jews, the cadre of the then outlawed Communist Party of Netherlands (CPN) organized a clandestine meeting in Amsterdam on February 24 and called for a general strike on February 25 and 26. According to reports, the strike was started by ordinary tram conductors, pavers and garbage collectors. Their example was followed by more than 300,000 people. Civil servants, workers, shopkeepers and students in Amsterdam, Utrecht, De Zaanstreek, Het Gooi and Kennemerland resisted the persecution of Jewish people. The workers fought the Nazis at the risk of their own lives, resisting oppression, and fascism. In retaliation, several public service workers were punished and some even executed. This historic strike by the Dutch working class has been regarded as the one of the earliest instances of an open working class resistance against fascist occupation and oppression in the Nazi-controlled regions across Europe.

Various speakers at the gathering at Noordermarkt on Sunday pointed out that it is important to understand fascism in order to combat it. “In order to be able to conduct our struggle properly, it is important that the working class has a good idea of fascism and imperialism, which stem from the capitalist system. They still pose a great threat to the working class worldwide. Contemporary contradictions between imperialist powers, increase the threat of imperialist interventions and wars, as in recent times in Eastern Europe. The struggle against fascism and war is important today, and that international solidarity is an indispensable weapon in this fight,” said one of the speakers.