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Image of WWII stance VU theologians not borne out by facts

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTELVEEN - Research by Reformed Christian theologian Aalders into the role of his former colleagues at the Free University Amsterdam during World War II indicates that the 1940s professors were not the fire-eating pocked resistance leaders many people had perceived them to be. Instead, they were largely a ‘non-inspiring’ group, caught in anti-Semitic sentiments and unable to see the inherent dangers of Nazism, and who as leaders were embroiled in a schism in their churches. The VU theologians seldom spoke out about political issues, and when writing about the situation in Germany, they only touched on theological subjects. During the war, the VU employed 25 professors. Only four, a physicist, two jurists and an education expert, were (heavily) involved in the resistance. Some of the others, including H.H. Kuyper, Abraham’s son, were ‘Deutch-freundlich’ or showed anti-Semitic tendencies.