Jetze Tjalma died in 1985
The City of Hoogeveen took the decision on Friday to strip a former Nazi collaborator that served as Mayor of the city in the Second World War of his Honorary Citizenship, reports RTV Drenthe. Throughout World War 2, Jetzje Tjalma readily collaborated to the invading Nazi forces, even taking the decision of creating a list of Jewish residents in the city without being legally compelled to. He even reported the last Jewish resident in the city to the Nazi Authorities; an elderly man lying sick in hospital.
Tjalma was very well regarded in his lifetime, sitting in multiple mayoral posts, becoming a member of parliament, and receiving the Order of Oranje-Nassau in 1951. He was made an Honorary Citizen of Hoogeveen in 1963. A park named after the disgraced collaborator will be re-named too, reports the NOS.
Tjalma’s treachery included making further lists of Dutch resistance figures, and using forced labour to create an airfield for the invading forces in Havelte.
Mayor Karel Loohuis announced this in response to an investigation into Tjalma that presented its findings on Friday. “Honorary citizenship can only go to someone of impeccable conduct,” says Loohuis. After the war, Tjalma received a ‘serious reprimand in private’, reported the investigators, but nothing further.
As early as May 1940, Tjalma drew up a list with personal details of Jewish residents of Hoogeveen, which was later used by the occupying forces for persecution. “Research shows that this was the first municipality to do this without any orders,” says Loohuis.
Tjalma was also found to be a coward, having avoided a raid on the city in 1942.
Tjalma was somewhat of a happy collaborator, writing to the Nazi authorities in 1943 to say: “[P]lease note, there is another Jewish resident here, an old man who is in the hospital, I would like to point out and with that our trial is finished.”
Image: the Kamp Westerbork transit facility in Drenthe, now a memorial centre. Via WikiUser Gouwenaar