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Police inspector who refused Nazi orders finally recognized
Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill
AMSTERDAM – A police inspector, who defied orders to arrest Jews from a collaborating superior during the occupation years of World War II and got fired on the spot, has recently been held up as an example of heroism to today's police force in Amsterdam. The city's current police commander Bernard Welten sent every police officer a letter urging them to perform their duties with vigilance, pointing them to the motto (in Dutch waakzaam en dienstbaar to the rechtstaat or rule of law) they will soon carry on their uniforms. A renovated police station in Amsterdam-West has also been renamed after Jan van den Oever, who stood by his principles when others ignored them. Van den Oever suspected that Jews who were being deported had every reason to fear for their lives and he resolutely refused to be a tool of the Nazis. Rehired after the Liberation, he left the force again after a while. In the aftermath of the occupation, three Amsterdam policemen were sentenced to death, while sixteen percent of the city's police force was fired for their actions during the occupation. Download Welten's speech (in Dutch) at www.politie-amsterdam-amstelland.nl/files/downloads/Welten_speech_toespraakvdOever_25-9-2008.pdf.