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The nature and extent of antimilitarism and pacifism in the Netherlands from 1918 to 1940 and the degree… Bout, John Jacob 1976

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THE NATURE AND EXTENT OF ANTIMILITARISM AND PACIFISM IN THE NETHERLANDS FROM 1918 TO 1940 AND THE DEGREE TO WHICH THEY CONTRIBUTED TO THE QUICK DEFEAT IN MAY 1940 by John J . Bout M.A., U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1972  A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY  i n the Department of History  We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA November, 1975  In  presenting  this  an a d v a n c e d d e g r e e the I  Library  further  for  agree  scholarly  by  his  of  this  written  in  at  University  the  make  that  it  thesis  freely  p u r p o s e s may  for  partial  permission  representatives.  for  of  University  of  British  2075 W e s b r o o k P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5  of  Columbia,  British for  by  the  gain  ft  \  Columbia  shall  not  the  requirements I agree  reference  and  c o p y i n g of  this  Head o f  is understood that  financial  / / ( S 7~Q  of  extensive  be g r a n t e d  It  fulfilment  available  permission.  Department  The  shall  thesis  be a l l o w e d  that  study. thesis  my D e p a r t m e n t  copying or  for  or  publication  w i t h o u t my  11  ABSTRACT  A f t e r May  1940  a n a t i o n a l soul searching took place i n  the Netherlands to uncover the reasons f o r the quick defeat at the hands of the Germans. One mentioned was  of the reasons frequently  the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c and p a c i f i s t i c  mentality  permeating large parts of Dutch s o c i e t y during the  twenties  and e a r l y t h i r t i e s . But no serious i n v e s t i g a t i o n was  ever  undertaken to prove or disprove t h i s claim. This d i s s e r t a t i o n attempts to discover the degree to which a n t i m i l i t a r i s m and p a c i f i s m weakened the national w i l l to r e s i s t an invasion i n general and undermined the combat e f f i c i e n c y of the armed forces i n p a r t i c u l a r . To determine the nature and extent of a n t i m i l i t a r i s m the wealth of contemporary pamphlets, newspapers and documents i n the Internationa l I n s t i t u t e f o r S o c i a l History i n Amsterdam and i n the Peace Palace i n the Hague were used. A n t i m i l i t a r i s t s and  pacifists  were categorized i n t o f i v e main groups: s o c i a l democrats, those f u r t h e r l e f t (anarchists, communists, s y n d i c a l i s t s , e t c . ) , r e l i g i o u s groups, c e r t a i n middle c l a s s groups i n cluding two major women organizations, and youths. The  size  of each category,  and  i t s p o l i t i c a l and economic strength,  the extent each was  able to influence Dutch society as a  whole are described as accurately as p o s s i b l e . Information  on the e f f e c t of a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c propaganda  on the armed forces was  obtained from documents and reports  i n the m i l i t a r y Central Archive Depot i n the Hague, the  iii  m i l i t a r y archives i n Schaarsbergen, the Sectie Krijgsgeschiedenis of the army, and the reports of the Central Intelligence Service. The conclusions reached were that i n the e a r l y twenties a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s were strong enough to force  considerable  reductions i n the s i z e of the conscripted army and the length of i t s s e r v i c e . U n t i l the l a t e r t h i r t i e s a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s were i n f l u e n t i a l enough to prevent an increase i n the s i z e of the armed forces and to block the a l l o c a t i o n of s u f f i c i e n t funds f o r modernizations of material and weapons. A n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c propaganda was extensive and persuasive enough to convince a large segment of the population  that  the m i l i t a r y forces were a useless and dangerous extravagance of a by-gone era. Professional s o l d i e r s were laughed at and as a r e s u l t t h e i r morale was low and t h e i r e f f i c i e n c y s l i g h t . Conscripts were i n d i f f e r e n t or b e l l i g e r e n t and t r i e d to do as l i t t l e as p o s s i b l e during t h e i r tour of duty. The r e s u l t was that t r a i n i n g , d i s c i p l i n e , s k i l l and morale were i n s u f f i c i e n t and below standard. Since arms and equipment were also of an i n f e r i o r q u a l i t y and i n short supply the Dutch forces, and s p e c i f i c a l l y the army, q u i c k l y collapsed when the Germans invaded. A n t i m i l i t a r i s m was not the sole cause of the Dutch defeat but i t was the main reason f o r the r a p i d i t y of the defeat of the Netherlands.  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ABSTRACT  ii  TABLE OF CONTENTS  iv  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS Chapter I.  A n t i m i l i t a r i s m and the Dutch Nation  vii 1  1. Thesis Outline and D e f i n i t i o n of Terms 2. National Character and the Four Blocs 3. The Government Chapter I I .  Dutch Pacifism and A n t i m i l i t a r i s m to 1918...  24  1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  Dutch P a c i f i s t s before 1914 Dutch A n t i m i l i t a r i s t s before 1914 The M i l i t a r y before 1914 The Netherlands A n t i War Council The S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party The International A n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c Society and Others 7. The E f f e c t of A n t i m i l i t a r i s m on the Army  Chapter I I I .  The Extreme L e f t . . .  56  1. Introduction 2. The Communists 3. International A n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c Society and Bureau: P r i n c i p l e s and Organization 4. International A n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c Society: Influence and Propaganda 5. Bart de L i g t (1883-1938) Chapter IV. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.  The S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party  P i t f a l l s of Disarmament The O f f i c i a l P o s i t i o n E f f o r t s i n Parliament Party Problems Propaganda The Influence of Religious S o c i a l Democrats Return to the Fold  94  V  Chapter V. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.  The Religious Groups  135  Introduction S o c i a l Religious A n t i m i l i t a r i s m P o l i t i c a l Religious A n t i m i l i t a r i s t s Small Religious A n t i m i l i t a r i s t Groups Church and Peace Roman C a t h o l i c P a c i f i s t Theories Roman C a t h o l i c Peace League C a t h o l i c Dissidents  Chapter VI.  The Peace Movement  171  1. Introduction 2. The L i b e r a l Democratic League 3. The Association f o r the League of Nations and Peace 4. The No More War Federation and A f f i l i a t e d Groups 5. National Passive Resistance 6. Women's Organizations 7. Conclusion Chapter VII. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.  The Youth Movement  Introduction War Years The L i b e r t a r i a n s The Communists The S o c i a l Democrats The Independent Groups  Chapter VIII. Proponents of a National Defence Force... 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.  202  Introduction Pro Defence Groups The Defence Budget i n the Twenties Defence Preparations i n the T h i r t i e s Foreign P o l i c y and N e u t r a l i t y P o l i t i c a l Leadership and Public Opinion Conclusion  233  vi  Chapter IX.  The Armed Forces  276  1. A n t i m i l i t a r i s m and D i s c i p l i n e , 1919-1933 2. Security, "National Education", and A n t i m i l i t a r i s m , 1933-1939 3. M o b i l i z a t i o n : Men and Material 4. Defence Strategy and Personality C o n f l i c t s 5. Warnings Chapter X.  Conclusion  322  1. Dutch Society and A n t i m i l i t a r i s m 2. Five Days i n May 3. The Wider Context REFERENCES  364  SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY  423  APPENDIX 1  444  APPENDIX II  449  vii  LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS  Map of The Netherlands  Page 360  Map of the Deployment of the Dutch Army  361  Map of the Main Defensive Lines i n the Netherlands.....  362  Map of the German Plan of Attack  363  Chapter I: A n t i m i l i t a r i s m and the Dutch Nation  1. Thesis Outline and D e f i n i t i o n of Terms In May 1940  the Germans defeated the Dutch i n f i v e days.  This evoked an intensive national soul searching f o r the reasons f o r the quick and t o t a l defeat. Many people pointed to the " d e f e a t i s t elements" before the war who had prevented the creation of proper defence measures. These " d e f e a t i s t elements" were the antimilitaristi.and p a c i f i s t groups whose existence was undeniable. But no e f f o r t was made i n the post war period to substantiate the charge and to investigate the s p e c i f i c ways i n which the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s had c u r t a i l e d national defence e f f o r t s . This thesis attempts to discover the nature and extent of a n t i m i l i t a r i s m i n the Netherlands before 1940 and to what degree i t undermined the national w i l l to r e s i s t outside aggression. Such a study cannot look at a n t i m i l i t a r i s m as an i s o l a t e d e n t i t y but must look at i t i n r e l a t i o n to the way i t hindered, modified, or prevented the development of adequate defence measures. I t must also i n v e s t i g a t e whether there were other reasons f o r the inadequacy of the m i l i t a r y forces, and whether these other reasons were not as important as the opposition of the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s . During the course of the research i t became c l e a r that the achievements  of the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s took place i n three sepa-  rate areas but that they could not a l l be measured with the same kind of accuracy. The b i l l s they defeated i n parliament,  2  or whittled down, or forced to ;have withdrawn, or changed i n a manner detrimental  to the armed forces, are a c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n  of the strength of the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s . The way  they influenced  the Dutch m i l i t a r y forces, created an opposition to pr d i s l i k e for the m i l i t a r y among conscripts, or fostered a d e f e a t i s t mentality, i s more d i f f i c u l t to measure. But i n many instances i t i s s t i l l p o s s i b l e to show a d i r e c t l i n k between a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c propaganda and opposition to or r e b e l l i o n against the m i l i t a r y by the men  serving i n those forces. The way  the  a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s influenced the nation as a whole cannot be accurately measured. Certain i n d i c a t i o n s and examples can  be  given that the country as a whole d i d not support i t s m i l i t a r y and that a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c propaganda was can never be proven how  the reason. But i t  much greater the national w i l l to  r e s i s t an invader would have been had there been no a n t i m i l i t a r i s t groups i n the Netherlands. Nevertheless,  the thesis  contends that the s i z e of the Dutch army which fought the German invader, preparations,  the t r a i n i n g , the equipment and weapons, the  the w i l l to f i g h t , and the n a t i o n a l support f o r  the army were a l l d e f i c i e n t as a r e s u l t of twenty years of a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c e f f o r t s by many people. In order to avoid confusion i t i s necessary to understand that the words "militarism","pacifism", and " a n t i m i l i t a r i s m " had a d i f f e r e n t meaning i n the Dutch language than i n the English. An added d i f f i c u l t y i s that the d i f f e r e n t groups tended to give varying connotations to these words and used them quite l o o s e l y at times. In the thesis these words have the meanings that the various groups gave them.  3  Since a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s were birds of such diverse plumage they had many explanations  as to what " m i l i t a r i s m " was. Very  few l i m i t e d the meaning of the word to the domination of the p o l i t i c a l process by the m i l i t a r y as i s commonly understood by " m i l i t a r i s m " . For many a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s the f a c t that the Dutch government i n s i s t e d on having a national defence force was enough to c a l l i t " m i l i t a r i s t i c " , regardless of the s i z e of that force or that i t i n no way dominated the c i v i l i a n processes.  The term " m i l i t a r i s m " thus l o s t much of i t s proper  meaning but f o r a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s i t always retained a negative connotation  with the emphasis that anything  connected with the  m i l i t a r y ought to be opposed.Antimilitarists thus negated the d i f f e r e n c e between what Vagts c a l l s the " m i l i t a r y way" and militarism."'* The former he describes as, marked by a primary concentration of men and materials on winning s p e c i f i c objectives of power with the utmost e f f i c i e n c y , that i s , with the l e a s t expenditure of blood and treasure. I t i s l i m i t e d i n scope, confined to one function, and s c i e n t i f i c i n i t s e s s e n t i a l q u a l i t i e s . I t i s important to note that Dutch a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s d i d not make t h i s d i s t i n c t i o n and that the word " m i l i t a r i s m " as i t i s used i n the thesis has the meaning they gave i t and thus includes opposition to the m i l i t a r y way. I t i s permissible to use the word i n t h i s sense because the prime objective of the thesis i s not a c a r e f u l a n a l y t i c a l study of the theories of Dutch a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s , but of the ways they hindered  the Dutch  m i l i t a r y . This opposition to the m i l i t a r y i s the most important g u i d e l i n e because i t , i n a l l i t s varied facets, contributed to undermining the w i l l and a b i l i t y of the nation to defend i t s independence.  4  Dutch p a c i f i s t s wanted peace and sought to achieve i t through the settlement of i n t e r n a t i o n a l disputes by a r b i t r a t i o n and i n t e r n a t i o n a l courts of law and through gradual, i n t e r national disarmament. C o l o n i a l wars were accepted as necessary, however, and a defensive war f o r a c i v i l i z e d country, f o r the time being, as unavoidable. The Dutch meaning of the word pacifism, therefore, was quite l i m i t e d . The present connotation of the word, that the waging of war by a state and the part i c i p a t i o n of an i n d i v i d u a l i n war are wrong, was not accepted by Dutch "pure" p a c i f i s t s . A n t i m i l i t a r i s t s , on the other hand, opposed not only a m i l i t a r y s p i r i t , the i d e a l s and attitudes of professional s o l d i e r s and the g l o r i f i c a t i o n of war, but also rejected the maintenance of an army and navy f o r defensive purposes. Some a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s , basing themselves on r e l i g i o u s or moral grounds, rejected a l l forms of violence; others opposed the m i l i t a r i s m and wars of the bourgeois state f o r i d e o l o g i c a l and p o l i t i c a l reasons. Some of the l a t t e r thought i t permissible to use violence to overthrow  the e x i s t i n g state. Others accepted  m i l i t a r y service to subvert the structure from within or to learn the use of weapons so that they could use them against the state when the r i g h t time came. A l l the groups had i n common that they a c t i v e l y propagated t h e i r views and t r i e d to convince as many people i n the Netherlands as possible. Nineteenth century a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s repudiated p a c i f i s t s as bourgeois who s t i l l wanted to maintain the c a p i t a l i s t i c and i m p e r i a l i s t i c state which, by d e f i n i t i o n , meant that wars would continue to take place. During the i n t e r war years t h i s  5  f e e l i n g s t i l l existed but was much less antagonistic.  Bart  de L i g t , one of the best known Dutch a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s , wrote that the d i f f e r e n c e between p a c i f i s t s and a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s was that the l a t t e r strove f o r more than peace; they wanted a more worthy, more humane society. War was combated not only because i t was c r i m i n a l and unworthy of human endeavour, but also because i t obstructed  the transcendence of society from the 2  present to a higher form.  J.B.Th. Hugenholtz, another well  known a n t i m i l i t a r i s t , thought that p a c i f i s t s who gained a deeper i n s i g h t i n t o themselves would become a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s when they r e a l i z e d that war was not only bad, destructive, inhuman and u n c h r i s t i a n , but also morally  impermissible  and that i t was  t h e i r personal duty to bring i t to an end. Consequently, they would not only combat war, but also that which made war pos3  s i b l e : m i l i t a r i s m and the system of national defence. In s p i t e of the d i f f e r e n c e s between a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s and p a c i f i s t s i t i s s t i l l easy to confuse them because the terminology changed over the years as the English meaning of p a c i fism became more prevalent. Dutch a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s began to c a l l themselves " r a d i c a l " , "revolutionary",  "left-wing", or "active"  p a c i f i s t s which i n t h e i r own understanding d i f f e r e d i n t r i n s i c a l l y from the "bourgeois-pacifism", pacifism", subscribed  or "League of Nations  to by many upper and middle c l a s s Dutch  people. To avoid confusion  the term " a n t i m i l i t a r i s t " w i l l be  used whenever p o s s i b l e . The p r o l i f e r a t i o n of a n t i m i l i t a r i s t and p a c i f i s t groups was so extensive  a f t e r 1919 that they  cannot a l l be included within these broad categories. Nor can, w i l l , or need a l l the groups be discussed.  6  The c r i t e r i o n f o r consideration i s the extent each group p r o s e l y t i z e d the Dutch nation and/or a c t i v e l y opposed the government and the m i l i t a r y . The labels of the groups can be misleading but talcing the above c r i t e r i o n into account, most of the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s and only a few p a c i f i s t s f a l l within the framework of t h i s t h e s i s . Three broad categories can be noted here. The f i r s t are the r e l i g i o u s a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s . They thought Scriptures and war i r r e c o n c i l a b l e and therefore worked to end war; pastors and p r i e s t s played an important r o l e and the congregations were the f i e l d s to harvest; pressure on the government was s l i g h t , but the influence on the population considerable though d i f f i c u l t to gauge. Secondly, "parliamentarians" sought to achieve t h e i r aim through l e g a l , p o l i t i c a l pressure on the government and the people, and t h e i r membership varied from the "bourgeois-pacifist" L i b e r a l Democratic League to the S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party which considered i t s e l f strongly a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c . T h i r d l y , the " r e a l " a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s rejected the S o c i a l Democrats' claim to that name and continued to work f o r the overthrow  of c a p i t a l i s t i c society as the  necessary p r e r e q u i s i t e to r i d the world of m i l i t a r i s m and war. These three broad categories are not exact enough to use them as chapter headings so that a further subdivision was made. Youth was d e a l t with i n a separate chapter because they d i d not f i t i n any one of the three categories. They formed separate youth associations because they were youths and wanted to keep away from the adult society which they mistrusted and blamed f o r the i l l s of the w o r l d — v e r y much l i k e the "beat generation" of the s i x t i e s — a n d t h i s alone warrants separate treatment.  7  Both the S o c i a l Democrats and the groups which considered themselves part of the "Peace Movement" were parliamentarians but since there were major i d e o l o g i c a l differences between them they have been treated separately. Most of the r e l i g i o u s groups have been dealt with i n the chapter of that name, but a few of them put much more emphasis on the " S o c i a l Question" than on r e l i g i o n and have been dealt with i n conjunction with the Extreme L e f t , or the S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party. The order of the chapters (except the Youth chapter) i s roughly the order of the chronological development of the groups. The most intense period lasted f o r about one decade (from 1925 to 1935); l i b e r t a r i a n groups v i r t u a l l y had the f i e l d to themselves before that time, while r e l i g i o u s and middle class organizations stood almost alone when the Germans crossed the Dutch border. Within the Netherlands there were between 40 and 50 a n t i m i l i t a r i s t and p a c i f i s t organizations working n a t i o n a l l y and a s i m i l a r number r e g i o n a l l y or l o c a l l y so that a complete i n v e s t i g a t i o n of each would be too exhausting. The groups that are d e a l t with i n d e t a i l were representative of a p a r t i c u l a r i d e o l o g i c a l or r e l i g i o u s bloc within Dutch society. Furthermore, some of these groups were important because of the way they were viewed by the majority of Dutch society and the manner i n which the l a t t e r reacted to them. T r a d i t i o n a l l y , and f o r reasons to be discussed l a t e r , the majority of Dutch people viewed s o c i a l i s t s , communists,  and  l i b e r t a r i a n s with suspicion and a c e r t a i n amount of trepidat i o n . This f a c t i s important when analyzing the reasons f o r the Dutch mental and m i l i t a r y unpreparedness i n May 1940. Those  8  who  favoured a proper defence force were more concerned f o r  many years with the "threat from within" than with the danger from without. Consequently the already meager m i l i t a r y preparations were weakened because precautionary measures were taken against the l e f t . Religious a n t i m i l i t a r i s t groups are noteworthy  f o r a very  d i f f e r e n t reason. The majority of Dutch people were r e l i g i o u s and many explained the need f o r a m i l i t a r y force with r e l i g i o u s arguments. R e l i g i o u s a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s interpreted Scriptures d i f f e r e n t l y and came to the opposite conclusion. They  approached  the r e l i g i o u s majority with the a l t e r n a t i v e i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and thereby sowed a c e r t a i n amount of doubt and confusion within the ranks of the majority. The chapter e n t i t l e d "The Peace Movement" deals with groups whose composition was quite diverse and they can probably best be described as being middle class even though the term must be used with caution. The majority of those belonging to the Peace Movement—the term i s an exact t r a n s l a t i o n  of the  t i t l e Vredesbeweging which they gave themselves—considered themselves  to be middle c l a s s . Many were i n t e l l e c t u a l s ,  teachers, managers, businessmen, etc., but a number of workers also belonged to the Peace Movement, as well as a small group of people who were d e f i n i t e l y upper middle or upper c l a s s . The two women's organizations have been placed i n t h i s chapter because t h e i r membership was and daughters of men  l a r g e l y drawn from the wives  i n the middle c l a s s .  9  As w i l l be outlined i n the next section, a breakdown of Dutch society i n t o classes i s e s p e c i a l l y d i f f i c u l t because there were both h o r i z o n t a l and v e r t i c a l d i v i s i o n s within fehe nation. In c e r t a i n instances i t i s p o s s i b l e to use the horizont a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n based on economics but frequently v e r t i c a l party structures based on r e l i g i o u s adherence w i l l  be  encountered.  2. National Character and the Four Blocs "National character" has been defined as "the enduring pers o n a l i t y c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s and unique l i f e s t y l e s found among  4 populations  of p a r t i c u l a r n a t i o n a l states."  As such, a d i s -  cussion of i t i s d i f f i c u l t , can never be complete, and touch only the few  can  "main" c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s found i n the complex  population of a nation. Nevertheless,  a b r i e f explanation of the  Dutch n a t i o n a l character must be given so that l a t e r  chapters  w i l l be more comprehensible. The old adage that God created the world but the Dutch made Holland"' cannot be wholly substantiated; but there i s no doubt that the geography and h i s t o r y of the Netherlands provided  the  Dutch with a few p e c u l i a r n a t i o n a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s . For a country no bigger than 12,500 square miles with about s i x m i l l i o n inhabitants ( i n 1914)  the people were unusually diverse.  Many d i a l e c t s were so pronounced and d i s t i n c t l y regional that verbal communication was  awkward and confusing. Rivers, streams,  canals and ditches fostered separation and strengthened l o c a l customs, habits, b e l i e f s , and i d i o s y n c r a s i e s . The sea was  a  common enemy and i n time of calamity brought f o r t h a national  e f f o r t to stop the inrushing waters. But the water also brought separation; each area surrounded by a dike ensured that those l i v i n g within gave t h e i r l o y a l t y f i r s t to THEIR polder. The many who made t h e i r l i v i n g on the w a t e r — t h e merchant marine, the fishermen,  the thousands on the r i v e r - c r a f t s — w e r e also very  i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c ; "next to God, skipper on his own ship" was a common and much loved expression.^ But the most predominant feature of Dutch society was i t s burgher mentality. C i t i e s and towns had always ruled, the countryside had obeyed. The burgher had been s o l i d and conscientious, sober and c a l c u l a t i n g . Bourgeois s o c i e t y of the 19th Century was concerned with the maintenance of the i n d i v i d u a l within society and of that part i c u l a r s o c i e t y as a whole. Those outside the middle c l a s s sometimes reacted against the value system of the bourgeoisie, yet they strove to obtain the same kind of values. The r e s u l t was that Dutch people tended to be sober minded, conservative, f r u g a l , b u s i n e s s - l i k e , r e l i g i o u s , and very i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c . The people d i s l i k e d things m i l i t a r y , had an a n t i pathy towards the d i s c i p l i n e t h i s involved, hated having to leave t h e i r v i l l a g e or town, and d i d not want to subordinate themselves to men from other areas with d i f f e r e n t d i a l e c t s and strange ideas. A c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e and incessant  complaining  (kankeren) were very much part of the n a t i o n a l heritage but never employed as f r e e l y as when t a l k i n g about the army. Family l i f e was very important  f o r the Dutch; t h e i r s o c i a l  l i f e centered on the l i v i n g room, not the market place, and t h i s was another reason m i l i t a r y service was d i s l i k e d .  Religious d i v i s i o n was very pronounced within the Netherlands and placed an i n d e l i b l e stamp on the l i v e s of the people. North of  the b i g r i v e r s orthodox Calvinism predominated  creating a  society where r e l i g i o n played a major part i n a l l aspects of p r i v a t e and p u b l i c l i f e , not l e a s t of a l l i n p o l i t i c s . South of the r i v e r s and i n the l i g h t e r s o i l areas i n the east the popul a t i o n was l a r g e l y orthodox Roman Catholic and very much under the c o n t r o l of the church. For centuries l i t t l e more than second class c i t i z e n s , the Roman Catholics reached recognition as equals by the turn of the century through the seemingly unnatural a l l i a n c e with some of the orthodox Protestants. The a l l i a n c e came about because both groups had recognized a bigger enemy—the a t h e i s t i c l i b e r a l s , supposedly out to destroy the church. P o l i t i c a l cooperation d i d not n e c e s s a r i l y mean that the common man now accepted the other's r e l i g i o n . The terms "heretic" and "papist" were used only s l i g h t l y less than had been the case during the Reformation. Ignorance of each other's p o s i t i o n and centuries of one-sided teaching were s t i l l not eradicated by the time H i t l e r ' s troops crossed the border. In  addition to the aforementioned, c h a r a c t e r i s t i c a l l y Dutch  d i v i s i o n s within society, there were those present i n every other country: between people of d i f f e r e n t occupational groups, between l i t e r a t e and i l l i t e r a t e , between believer and agnostic, between r i c h and poor, between c i t y and countryside and, beginning i n the l a t t e r part of the 19th Century, between class conscious workers and those c o n t r o l l i n g the means of production.  12  A t y p i c a l manifestation  of the Dutch national character was  that most things came i n fours: Protestant, Roman Catholic, S o c i a l i s t , Neutral. Within  the four main blocs there were often  many subdivisions based on r e l i g i o u s d i f f e r e n c e s , c l a s s conf l i c t s , minor nuances i n r e l i g i o u s , p o l i t i c a l , or i d e o l o g i c a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s , or j u s t p l a i n stubborn i n d i v i d u a l i s m . The four f o l d separation existed not only i n the p o l i t i c a l arena and trade union federations, but also i n sport  organizations,  employer associations, etc. I t was a natural dictum of l i f e that each i n d i v i d u a l f i t t e d himself i n t o his own bloc; changing blocs u s u a l l y meant a break with a l l former friends and  associates. Roman Catholics formed the most homogeneous bloc because the  a u t h o r i t a t i v e p o s i t i o n of the church ensured that people with diverging opinions were ostracized from the Catholic community. Dissident voices were heard from time to time but u s u a l l y within the confines of what the church hierarchy judged to be permiss i b l e . Only a small number of Catholics broke with the " o f f i c i a l " , church supported, Roman C a t h o l i c State Party to form another p o l i t i c a l  party.  The Protestant bloc was i n t e r n a l l y divided i n t o several p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s and churches. The l a r g e s t Protestant church i n the Netherlands, the Dutch Reformed Church, harboured three "streams" within i t s e l f : l a t i t u d i n a r i a n (usually r e f e r r e d to as "modern"), middle of the road, and orthodox. The l a t t e r stood very close to the other major Protestant church, the Reformed Church. Both the orthodox wing of the Dutch Reformed Church and the Reformed Church were staunchly  Calvinistic.  13  (In order to avoid confusion i t should be emphasized that the Dutch Reformed Church and the Reformed Church were separate churches with no organizational t i e s . ) Orthodox C a l v i n i s t s belonged to either the C h r i s t i a n H i s t o r i c a l Union or the Anti 7 Revolutionary Party.  The former broke away from the l a t t e r  over the suffrage question which was a major and d i v i s i v e issue i n Dutch p o l i t i c s from 1880 to 1918. The C h r i s t i a n H i s t o r i c a l s l a r g e l y became the party of the e l i t e i n the Reformed while the A n t i Revolutionaries were the "small f o l k "  community (kleine  luiden). In addition there were a few small orthodox C a l v i n i s t p a r t i e s who drew t h e i r membership from the smaller churches and sects and, to a s l i g h t degree, from among the u l t r a conservatives i n the Reformed Church and the orthodox wing of the Dutch Reformed Church. The l a t i t u d i n a r i a n wing of the l a t t e r generally belonged to the Neutral bloc. C a l v i n i s t s and Roman Catholics had great national as well as bloc l o y a l t y . C a t h o l i c national l o y a l t y was rather s u r p r i s i n g because t h e i r churches and services had been banned i n 1573 when the Eighty Years War with Spain started. In the centuries that followed the Catholics had always fought f o r emancipation within the nation. They wanted to remain part of i t because they f e l t Dutch. There was i n any event no a l t e r n a t i v e because secession was impossible. At f i r s t they a l l i e d themselves with the l i b e r a l s but when the School Question became of paramount importance i n the second h a l f of the 19th Century, the Catholics joined the orthodox Protestants. Both groups demanded, and eventually obtained, p u b l i c funds f o r t h e i r respective r e l i g i o u s schools. Throughout the long b a t t l e f o r equality the  14  Catholics always f e l t very strongly that they l i v e d i n a Protestant nation and the l o y a l t y to t h e i r own  bloc i s  therefore s e l f - e v i d e n t . C a l v i n i s t s ' l o y a l t y to t h e i r own  nation and bloc i s not  hard to understand. Calvinism became almost synonymous with Dutch p a t r i o t i s m as a r e s u l t of the war with Spain and subsequent generations own  c a r r i e d on the t r a d i t i o n . Loyalty to t h e i r  bloc became stronger as more and more "un-Godly" influences  became v i s i b l e i n the world. F i r s t there was  the f i g h t against  the f r e e t h i n k i n g or l a t i t u d i n a r i a n l i b e r a l s who  refused p u b l i c  aid to r e l i g i o u s schools. Thereafter came the r i s e of s o c i a l i s m which was  not only a n t i - r e l i g i o u s but also advocated the a b o l i -  tion of God-given p r i v a t e property and God-instituted  social  classes. The n e u t r a l bloc was  the most heterogeneous of the four. In  a sense "neutral" i s a misnomer because i t implies a withdrawal from or i n d i f f e r e n c e towards the aims of the other three blocs. This was  not the case. The nucleus of the neutral bloc of the  20th Century were the conservative and l i b e r a l p a r t i e s of the 19th Century. The former died as a p o l i t i c a l e n t i t y i n and the l a t t e r s p l i t i n t o three p a r t i e s a f t e r 1888. cooperation  1891  Occasional  proved p o s s i b l e but never to the extent that  l i b e r a l party was  re-formed. A f t e r 1918  there were two  one  liberal  p a r t i e s and they d i f f e r e d considerably. The Freedom League was the party of the businessmen and often supported, or was of, the c l e r i c a l governments of the i n t e r war L i b e r a l Democratic League was t u a l s , was  years.  part  The  more the party of the i n t e l l e c -  i n favour of moderate state socialism, and opposed  15  the c l e r i c a l governments u n t i l 1933. From 1924 to 1934 the L i b e r a l Democrats demanded complete u n i l a t e r a l disarmament of the Netherlands and worked together with the S o c i a l Democrats i n order to achieve t h i s . The two groups amalgamated i n 1945 i n the newly formed Labour Party. Several small p a r t i e s with no r e l i g i o u s or left-wing connections completed the p o l i t i c a l manifestations  of the neutral bloc.  Most "neutrals" were l a t i t u d i n a r i a n i n r e l i g i o n or were freethinkers. They wanted to keep r e l i g i o n and p o l i t i c s separated as much as p o s s i b l e . In t h i s they d i f f e r e d i n t r i n s i c a l l y from the Protestant  and C a t h o l i c blocs who saw t h e i r r e l i g i o u s  b e l i e f as the foundation on which t h e i r p o l i t i c a l programs ought to be b u i l t . In the Netherlands such a d i f f e r e n c e was fundamental and precluded any union; only cooperation  on an  ad hoc base was possible with the c l e r i c a l s . Working together with the S o c i a l Democrats was also s p o r a d i c a l l y possible f o r the neutrals but was i n any event less important because the former d i d not enter the government u n t i l 1939. The s o c i a l i s t s formed the fourth bloc. U n t i l 1913 they were a minor element i n the national f a b r i c because s o c i a l i s m developed quite l a t e i n the Netherlands. In part t h i s happened because the i n d u s t r i a l development did not r e a l l y commence u n t i l 1870.  Another deterrent was the strong hold Protestant and  Roman C a t h o l i c churches had on t h e i r members. As a r e s u l t the labour movement remained weak and divided. In 1914 about 250,000 workers were organized but only f i f t y per cent belonged to a national trade union federation. Inevitably blocs were formed: the s y n d i c a l i s t s had about 10,000 members and the  lb Protestants s l i g h t l y more* the neutrals had barely 4,000 but the Roman Catholics almost 60,000; the S o c i a l Democrats had  the  8 greatest number, 84,000. These figures are quite small considering that more than 2,500,000 people were i n the 9 labour force of whom 782,000 worked i n industry. S o c i a l i s t s were also quite l a t e i n t h e i r appearance on parliamentary  scene. The main reason for t h i s was  s o c i a l i s t leader before 1900:  the  the Dutch  Ferdinand Domela Nieuwenhuis.  D i s i l l u s i o n e d with the parliamentary  method and  disliking  formal p o l i t i c a l p a r t i e s he c a r r i e d many Dutch s o c i a l i s t s with him to the anarchist corner. The S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party was  a break-away movement tin 1894)  from the Domela  Nieuwenhuis dominated s o c i a l i s t world and had to f i g h t a b a t t l e against s y n d i c a l i s t s , free s o c i a l i s t s , and who  constant  anarchists  considered Domela Nieuwenhuis t h e i r s p i r i t u a l leader even  though they disagreed with him on s p e c i f i c issues. The S o c i a l Democrats weathered t h i s storm quite well and a f t e r e l e c t i n g two men  to parliament  s i x i n 1901  i n 1897  and seven i n 1909.  they increased that number to In that year the orthodox  Marxists were expelled from the party and they, under the leadership of D. Wijnkoop, formed the S o c i a l Democratic Party which became the nucleus of the Communist Party i n In 1913  1918.  the S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party elected 13  to parliament,  increased t h i s number to 22 i n 1918  and  men  thereby  f i r m l y established i t s e l f as a major bloc i n Dutch society. But S o c i a l Democrats d i d not use t h i s strong representation i n parliament  to i t s maximum advantage. Following the guidelines  of the Second I n t e r n a t i o n a l , the party refused to take part i n  17  any government. A f t e r the war  the S o c i a l Democrats changed  their mind but t h e i r attempted revolution i n November  1918  created so much mistrust that the c l e r i c a l p a r t i e s kept them from entering the cabinet u n t i l 1939.  Being kept out of the  government presented s p e c i a l problems f o r a party which held nearly one quarter of the seats i n the (100 seat) Second Chamber e s p e c i a l l y since i t advocated that the country disband a l l i t s armed forces. The d i f f i c u l t i e s w i l l be discussed i n Chapter IV. In the i n t e r war  years various other s o c i a l i s t p a r t i e s were  formed so that the l e f t became a confusing welter of groups, organizations and p a r t i e s a l l working towards the creation of a new  s o c i e t y . The envisaged end,  and the required means to  obtain i t , kept the groups apart while p e r s o n a l i t y c o n f l i c t s exacerbated the i d e o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s . The whole l e f t , including communists and l i b e r t a r i a n s , opposed the  existence  of a national armed f o r c e . But the reasons f o r the  opposition  and the proposed paths to eliminate i t were so diverse that combined action seldom took place. The deep cleavages within the Dutch nation would have made a national existence impossible were i t not for two f a c t o r s . F i r s t l y , there was  an over-riding desire among a l l groups and  i n d i v i d u a l s to keep the country together. No one wanted to secede and form a new  nation. Secondly, there was  a great  propensity f o r f i n d i n g a peaceful compromise f o r a l l problems. S o c i a l , c l a s s , and r e l i g i o u s schisms might be deep but  the  consensus that the Dutch nation ought to continue i t s existence meant that some s o r t of s o l u t i o n was was  always found. Each group  allowed to l i v e as i t desired providing i t d i d not  18  i n f r i n g e upon t h i s same r i g h t of other groups. Consequently, no extreme l e f t or r i g h t wing organization was the i n t e r war years no matter how  forbidden during  v i r u l e n t l y i t attacked  the  government or an e x i s t i n g s i t u a t i o n . The understood c o r o l l a r y was  that the attackers would not use p h y s i c a l violence. This  freedom of speech and association meant that a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c propaganda was  v i r t u a l l y unchecked. Those who  rejected the a n t i -  m i l i t a r i s t i c standpoint had to counter with propaganda of t h e i r own  i f they wished to obtain n a t i o n a l support f o r the mainte-  nance of a defence system.  3. The Government Finding an e f f i c i e n t yet democratic form of government f o r a nation as diverse as the Netherlands was  no easy task and  the  Dutch never r e a l l y solved the problem. During the 19th Century the powers of the king were slowly c u r t a i l e d and by the time of the F i r s t World War  the Queen reigned but d i d not r u l e a l -  though her p r e s t i g e and p e r s o n a l i t y ensured that she d i d not become a mere figure-head. P o l i t i c a l power was vested i n parliament. The Second Chamber was  elected by a meticulous  form  of proportional representation which gave one seat f o r every one per cent of the national vote a party obtained. The Chamber was  First  elected by the (11) p r o v i n c i a l governments and  served a somewhat s i m i l a r function as the B r i t i s h Upper House or the Canadian Senate. The government was who  needed not be (but often was)  and the same was  headed by a premier  an elected member of parliament  true for cabinet ministers.  19  Because of the d i v i s i o n s within the country p o l i t i c a l formations were numerous. In 1918, i n parliament;  up to 1940  17 p a r t i e s were represented  the number never f e l l below 10. More  than t h r i c e as many p a r t i c i p a t e d i n e l e c t i o n s ; the maximum number of p a r t i c i p a t i n g p a r t i e s , 54, was  reached i n 1933.  No  party ever obtained a majority i n parliament and every government was appointed  therefore a c o a l i t i o n . A f t e r each e l e c t i o n the Crown a formateur who  t r i e d to coordinate the various  party i n t e r e s t s and t h e i r d e s i r e f o r a p a r t i c u l a r number of cabinet posts, and work out an agreement on broad p r i n c i p l e s which the c o a l i t i o n would follow f o r the coming years. I t was a cumbersome and time consuming procedure. From 1918 there were s i x e l e c t i o n s , three premiers,  to  1940  and ten cabinets. The  Roman C a t h o l i c s , C h r i s t i a n H i s t o r i c a l s , and Anti Revolutionaries each furnished one premier. As the short cabinet l i v e s i n d i c a t e , agreement i n p r i n c i p l e did  not guarantee stable and long l a s t i n g governments. Party  d i s c i p l i n e was  weak; there was  p a r t i e s automatically supported  no established t r a d i t i o n that the l e g i s l a t i o n proposed by  " t h e i r " cabinet. Members of Parliament voted as t h e i r conscience d i c t a t e d ; u s u a l l y t h i s meant that the cabinet could count upon the support of t h e i r c o a l i t i o n but i n c e r t a i n areas, such as n a t i o n a l defence, t h i s support was  not automatic.  The c l e r i c a l c o a l i t i o n s i n the i n t e r war period d i d not have a sound base. Before 1917  the c l e r i c a l s had been united i n t h e i r  f i g h t f o r c l e r i c a l school support; when t h i s became a r e a l i t y i n 1917  there was  l i t t l e to bind the three p a r t i e s together except  t r a d i t i o n and the fear of the l e f t . The former wore thin i n the  d a i l y endeavour f o r p a r t i c u l a r goals; the l a t t e r was  not  shared by a l l c l e r i c a l party members i n parliament. C o a l i t i o n governments added to the tensions and mally present i n each p o l i t i c a l party and  s t r i f e nor-  especially in c l e r i c a l  p a r t i e s . They were v e r t i c a l p a r t i e s ; they incorporated  within  themselves members from a l l l e v e l s of society whose p a r t i c u l a r Weltanschauung was  determined by r e l i g i o u s p r i n c i p l e s .  s o c i a l heterogeneity caused stresses  and  The  s t r a i n s which were  magnified through c o l l a b o r a t i o n with r e l i g i o u s l y "otherthinking" people. S p e c i f i c a l l y i n the Roman Catholic State Party the o s c i l l a t i o n s of o f f i c i a l party p o l i c y , and  the  inability  to d e l i v e r the votes i n the Chamber from time to time, r e f l e c t e d the subterranean upheavals. ^ But i n s p i t e of i n t e r n a l f r i c t i o n 1  there was  a strong b e l i e f within  the three major c l e r i c a l  p a r t i e s that the maintenance of a c l e r i c a l government  was  of paramount importance. The Netherlands prided i t s e l f on being a " C h r i s t i a n nation"; roughly s i x t y per cent of the population were members of, or at l e a s t voted f o r , one  of the c l e r i c a l parties."'""'' Most  orthodox believers held the i n d i v i d u a l ' s conscience to be  the  f i n a l a r b i t e r of r i g h t and wrong, but t h i s hardly resulted i n unstructured individualism.  The Roman Catholic Church l a r g e l y  decreed what the i n d i v i d u a l ' s conscience should accept  and  r e j e c t ; the Protestant churches were a l i t t l e more lenient s t i l l put great weight on church regulations. examples, and governmental authority. that the government had  I t was  but  B i b l i c a l laws and generally  accepted  to ensure that a C h r i s t i a n society  was  maintained. In p r a c t i c e t h i s meant: domestic change came slowly;  21  l i t t l e s o c i a l l e g i s l a t i o n was passed (God had created classes as well as r i c h and poor); p r i v a t e enterprise was and favoured was  encouraged  (God blessed the i n d u s t r i o u s ) ; the Soviet Union  not granted diplomatic recognition ( i t was  a t h e i s t i c and  out to destroy C h r i s t i a n i t y ) and i t s admission  to the League  o f Nations opposed; independence f o r the colonies was r e j e c t e d (the mother country had a God-given mandate to d i r e c t , protect, and convert the native population); a m i l i t a r y force to protect the Netherlands and Indonesia was  e s s e n t i a l . E s p e c i a l l y the  Protestants believed very strongly that God had given the Netherlands to the D u t c h — a f t e r  t h e i r long f i g h t against S p a i n — a s a  bulwark f o r the true r e l i g i o n i n a wayward world. History, the House of Orange, and a considerable amount of nationalism were usually brought i n to augment the r e l i g i o u s argument. Under the impact of the Bolshevik v i c t o r y i n Russia, the changes i n Germany, and the "near r e v o l u t i o n " at home i n November 1918,  the government promised sweeping s o c i a l changes,  but s w i f t l y forgot them once s t a b i l i t y returned. Old ideas and p r i n c i p l e s triumphed. Successive c o a l i t i o n s accepted  the axiom  that the Netherlands ought to be defended by i t s own armed forces, but ignored the c o r o l l a r y that the t e c h n i c a l advances of the m i l i t a r y demanded a much greater f i n a n c i a l s a c r i f i c e . They assumed that Indonesia had to be retained, and that a f l e e t was  necessary  that a modern f l e e t was  recognized  f o r i t s defence, but would not admit  beyond the t e c h n i c a l and  financial  c a p a b i l i t i e s of the nation. The government could t r u t h f u l l y declare that i t was  not aggressive or m i l i t a r i s t i c and that i t  kept m i l i t a r y expenditures  to the bare minimum. This was  a  22  time-honoured  standpoint accepted by many people. The myth that  the prompt mobilization i n 1914 had saved the nation from being invaded was r e a d i l y believed by the conservative majority and was repeated with unchanging  conviction. A succession of govern-  ments preached that a defence force, a p o s i t i o n of s t r i c t n e u t r a l i t y , and support f o r the League of Nations would ensure that the country could stay out of a future war the same as i t had stayed out of the past war. That the Netherlands between the wars was ruled by conservative men  i s probably an understatement—ultra-conservative would  be more a c c u r a t e — a n d t h i s was  the cause of the strange pre-  dicament the country was i n . These men viewed the world, and conducted the domestic and foreign p o l i c y of the country, l a r g e l y i n pre-1914 terms. I t created c o n f l i c t s with groups who wanted a more modern approach. In the realm of a defence p o l i c y i t brought s p e c i a l problems because the government d i d not t r y to eradicate the b e l i e f s and sentiments which a c t i v e l y undermined or p a s s i v e l y rejected a national defence force. A n t i m i l i t a r i s m based on p a r t i c u l a r i d e o l o g i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , or e t h i c a l convictions could not have been changed, but the l a t e n t d i s l i k e f o r the m i l i t a r y so prevalent i n the Netherlands could have been lessened. This d i s l i k e stemmed from the i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c nature of the Dutch which was adverse to m i l i t a r y d i s c i p l i n e , from the regional t i e s which r e s u l t e d i n an antipathy to being placed i n garrison i n another area, and from the parsimonious nature of the people which quickly l a b e l l e d defence expenditures as needlessly extravagant. Such f e e l i n g s could have been lessened through more e f f i c i e n t and  23  more up-to-date p o l i c i e s i n , and f o r , the armed forces. But the men and p a r t i e s i n power showed very l i t t l e  initiative;  they were s a t i s f i e d as long as there was an army and navy without g i v i n g much consideration to the q u a l i t y of these forces. Consequently the widespread i n d i f f e r e n c e or d i s l i k e remained and made i t easier f o r a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s to win converts to t h e i r cause. Few Dutch a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s contended that the c i v i l i a n government was c o n t r o l l e d by the m i l i t a r y ; such a p o s i t i o n was d i f f i c u l t to maintain because i t d i d not e x i s t . The opposition was directed a t the existence of any m i l i t a r y force, regardless of i t s s i z e or e f f i c i e n c y , either because such a force had the p o t e n t i a l of s e t t l i n g i n t e r n a t i o n a l disputes through violence, or because a t i n y force could become the nucleus of a larger one and could r e s u l t i n m i l i t a r y domination of the c i v i l i a n process, or because war and violence were considered a s i n . As the next chapter w i l l show, 19th Century a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s d i d not yet have such ideas c l e a r l y worked out while p a c i f i s t s adhered to very d i f f e r e n t p r i n c i p l e s . The Great War proved to be a major c a t a l y s t ; i t forced a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s to develop t h e i r theories more f u l l y and brought them and the p a c i f i s t s closer together. In the early twenties there was probably more formal opposition to war i n general and to the national m i l i t a r y establishment i n p a r t i c u l a r than i n any other country i n Europe.  Chapter I I : Dutch Pacifism and A n t i m i l i t a r i s m to  1918  A cursory examination of Dutch pacifism, a n t i m i l i t a r i s m , and the m i l i t a r y before and during the Great War provides  information  which makes the post war period more i n t e l l i g i b l e . I t i s important to note that the Netherlands had a long h i s t o r y of neut r a l i t y , that t h i s p o l i c y was  supported  by a l l parts of the  nation, and that t h i s a t t i t u d e shaped the view many people held on pacifism, a n t i m i l i t a r i s m , and the m i l i t a r y . During the 19th Century n e u t r a l i t y was  at times taken to  extremes. A few examples w i l l s u f f i c e . The Protestant government i n the early 1860s refused to protest against the persecution of Protestants i n Spain. In 1867  Napoleon I I I sent a  note to Russia p r o t e s t i n g the severe treatment of the Poles a f t e r t h e i r abortive u p r i s i n g , and other nations joined i n the protest. When the Dutch Minister of Foreign A f f a i r s , van der Moesen, also sent a note, the uproar i n the country and the Second Chamber was  so great that he had to r e s i g n . That same year,  at a conference  1  i n London, the major powers declared Luxemburg  neutral and guaranteed her safety. The Netherlands also signed the document, but the Second Chamber opposed i t because i t 2  was  not a "neutral act."  1. Dutch P a c i f i s t s before  1914  Few Dutchmen could see the need f o r a peace society i n a peaceloving country that d i d not have any enemies. When an organization was Franco-Prussian  created i n 1871 War  i t was more a reaction to the  than from being convinced by the propaganda  25  of foreign peace s o c i e t i e s . The h i s t o r y of the Dutch Peace League bears out t h i s judgement. I n i t i a l membership q u i c k l y reached 2,500 people i n 26 branches, but two years l a t e r only 3  17 branches remained and by 1882  the number was  down to s i x .  The League barely remained a l i v e (with two branches) to the turn of the century. Then i t was  r e v i t a l i z e d through the general  i n t e r e s t i n the subject of peace because of the f i r s t Disarmament Conference i n the Hague, the opening of the Permanent Court of A r b i t r a t i o n (1901), and the amalgamation with the recently created Women's League f o r Disarmament and International A r b i t r a t i o n . The new  organization was  c a l l e d Peace  Through J u s t i c e i n recognition of the f a c t that only through i n t e r n a t i o n a l j u s t i c e and a r b i t r a t i o n could a l a s t i n g peace be obtained. The old Peace League had always considered i t s e l f p a c i f i s t which meant, i n the then common d e f i n i t i o n of the term, that wars were j u s t i f i e d when "self-defence against v i o l e n t attacks 4 from others was unavoidable." This r u l e counted f o r c i v i l i z e d nations because only they had a high morality and i n t e l l e c t u a l 5 standard.  Consequently the League refused to protest the Dutch  government's d e c l a r a t i o n of war on North Sumatra). I t was  against Atjeh (a small state  thought improper to send  suggestions  or advice to the government at any time i n s p i t e of the f a c t that a number of parliamentarians were members of the organization. Once i n t e r n a t i o n a l a r b i t r a t i o n was  accepted by a num-  ber of governments as a v i a b l e v e h i c l e f o r s e t t l i n g i n t e r national disputes, the League jumped on the bandwagon and within a few years could think of no other method to achieve peace.  26  P a c i f i s t s d i d not admit that disarmament or personal r e f u s a l to bear arms were acceptable methods f o r obtaining peace. In 1877 the Yearbook of the League urged those members who wanted to abolish the f l e e t and army to depart; twenty years g  l a t e r the Yearbook s t i l l gave s i m i l a r advice.  Apart from con-  demnations, p a c i f i s t l i t e r a t u r e of the time does not mention the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s . Why the two had nothing i n common was quite c l e a r l y explained i n 1905 by A. ten Bosch, one of the 7  better known spokesmen f o r Peace Through J u s t i c e : P a c i f i s t s are not a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s . P a c i f i s t s believe i n the r i g h t of s e l f defence and also that, once humanity recognizes that j u s t i c e ought to go before violence, armies w i l l come i n t o the service of j u s t i c e and w i l l be no more than p o l i c e f o r c e s . . . . P a c i f i s t b e l i e f s and a n t i m i l i t a r i s t sentiments should not be confused. Peace Through J u s t i c e , l i k e the Dutch Peace League before i t , professed to be an organization f o r a l l classes and r e l i g i o u s convictions, but i n p r a c t i c e was staunchly middle class with l i b e r a l humanism predominating. In 1909 Peace Through J u s t i c e held a meeting to discuss how the working class could best be a t t r a c t e d . The gathering took place i n one of the n i c e s t rooms of the s t a t e l y Hotel des Indes i n the Hague; the ladies served g  tea; those present wore evening dress.  This was at a time  when 23 per cent of the Dutch population l i v e d i n a one room 9 house and 31 per cent i n a two room house. In s p i t e of the absence of the working c l a s s , Peace Through J u s t i c e increased i t s membership to 5,500 by 1914. The peace movement became popular and fashionable i n Europe; many women became a t t r a c t e d to i t , p a r t l y because i t provided an o u t l e t for t h e i r ambitions i n a male ruled world. The f i r s t and second Peace Conferences, the opening of the International Court of  27  A r b i t r a t i o n , the b u i l d i n g and opening of the Peace P a l a c e — a l l i n the Netherlands—provided numerous a c t i v i t i e s and much p u b l i c i t y which convinced many that pacifism was  a worthy cause  and not i n any way detrimental to the t r a d i t i o n a l n e u t r a l i t y p o l i c y of the nation.  2. Dutch A n t i m i l i t a r i s t s before  1914  Before the Napoleonic wars the Netherlands was already i n decline and the years of the French occupation, severing the connections with the colonies, hastened the descent to an economic stagnation which d i d not begin to r e v i v e u n t i l  1870.  By t h i s time the i n d u s t r i a l and a g r i c u l t u r a l labourer was ment a l l y and p h y s i c a l l y almost retarded through generations of poverty, unemployment, poor housing and an i n s u f f i c i e n t d i e t .  1 0  The advent of socialism brought a c e r t a i n m i l i t a n c y into the workers. Minor r i o t s and disorders, e s p e c i a l l y i n Amsterdam, became frequent. The army, as the v e h i c l e f o r the maintenance of law and order, became the antagonist and fueled the century old l a t e n t d i s l i k e f o r the m i l i t a r y with s p e c i f i c grievances. S o c i a l i s t s could now  "prove" that the army was nothing more  than the f i n a l p i l l a r with which the rotten c a p i t a l i s t i c society kept i t s e l f U n t i l 1898  aloft.  a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s focussed t h e i r attention p r i m a r i l y  on the Replacement Law.  This law, abolished i n 1898 made i t posr  s i b l e f o r anyone chosen (by l o t ) to serve i n the armed forces to f i n d a replacement.  Since i t cost about 700 guilders to  get a replacement—most of the money went i n t o the pockets of the middleman—and workers earned less than one guilder a day,  28  the army was  f i l l e d with the c h i l d r e n of the p o o r .  11  The  various left-wing youth leagues paid the most attention to the Replacement Law,  no doubt because they were personally involved.  The S o c i a l Democratic Youth League passed a r e s o l u t i o n i n  1891  demanding that the law be abolished and general conscription be 12 introduced.  I t was  a d e s i r e to democratize the army and have  the burden of c o n s c r i p t i o n f a l l on a l l classes of s o c i e t y . Other deeds show a more m i l i t a n t a t t i t u d e . L e a f l e t s were d i s tributed at the places where the numbers were drawn, and at  the time when those who  had drawn a "bad"  again  number had to r e -  port f o r the f i r s t time to the barracks. E f f o r t s were made to smuggle s o c i a l i s t propaganda i n t o the barracks and to s t a r t an organization among those already serving. The successful example of the Young Guard i n Belgium could not be duplicated, however, probably  because the Dutch lacked organization, d i s c i p l i n e , 13 and numbers. Nevertheless, between 1898 and 1913 there were at l e a s t 1 8 — t h e actual number i s probably higher—young men who refused s e r v i c e and received repeated prison terms f o r 14 their refusal. A d i f f e r e n t kind of movement was established i n 1897.  the League of Navy Seamen  Controlled and organized  s o l e l y by s a i l o r s ,  the League t r i e d to f i g h t the poor treatment of the s a i l o r s , the rough conditions they had to l i v e under, and the severe d i s c i p l i n e . At that time 13 year old boys could be signed for  up  12 year p e r i o d s — o f which the years before they were age  16 did not count. These c h i l d r e n were v i r t u a l l y  defenceless  against the whims of older s a i l o r s and o f f i c e r s . The League t r i e d to get the law, which allowed c h i l d r e n to be  signed,  changed. The leaders of the League were repeatedly harassed by the Navy, or dishonourably discharged from the service, but 15 others were always ready and able to f i l l  the vacant places.  Among the adult s o c i a l i s t s a n t i m i l i t a r i s m tended to be marred by i d e o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s which prevented u n i f i e d action. Domela Nieuwenhuis, f i r s t a Lutheran pastor, then a s o c i a l democrat, and l a t e r an anarchist, was by f a r the most active . and best known Dutch a n t i m i l i t a r i s t . In 1871 he was a member of  the Peace League and favoured popular m i l i t i a s and i n t e r -  national a r b i t r a t i o n , but he q u i c k l y became disenchanted  with  the League and departed. In the 1890s he became the thorn i n the side of the German delegates to the congresses of the Second International where he proposed a general s t r i k e , massive c i v i l disobedience, and a m i l i t a r y s t r i k e i n case a government declared war. Domela Nieuwenhuis also urged a b o l i t i o n of the d i s t i n c t i o n between an aggressive and defensive war because i t stank of chauvinism. At the Congress i n Brussels (1891),  and  again i n Zurich (1893) he was voted down, while i n London (1896) he was not allowed to appear because he was considered an 16 anarchist. This d i d not stop him within the Netherlands. The speeches he had not been allowed to give before the Congresses 17 were p r i n t e d and tvidely d i s t r i b u t e d within the country. Dutch l e f t was now  hopelessly divided, however, and  the  anarchists had to give ground to the newly formed S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party which followed the guidelines of the Second I n t e r n a t i o n a l regarding a n t i m i l i t a r i s m .  The  The Second International advocated the a b o l i t i o n of  standing  armies and t h e i r replacement by popular m i l i t i a s ( P a r i s , London, 1896;  1889;  Stuttgart, 1907), urged s o c i a l democrat parliamen-  tarians to vote against a l l m i l i t a r y expenditures (Paris, 1900); should war  threaten, the working c l a s s , her  representatives,  and the International Bureau should do a l l i n t h e i r power to prevent i t breaking I t was  out (Stuttgart, 1907;  Copenhagen, 1910),  not a d i f f i c u l t program to follow and the Dutch S o c i a l  Democrats f a i t h f u l l y c a r r i e d out the d i r e c t i v e s . They voted against the m i l i t a r y budget, harassed the Ministers of War  and  Navy, and demanded a popular m i l i t i a . The c a r e f u l and hesitant a n t i m i l i t a r i s m of the Second International proved i t s impotency i n August 1914;  that of the anarchists and  Christian-socialists  might have been more e f f e c t i v e had they received greater support. The Dutch C h r i s t i a n - s o c i a l i s t s (sometimes c a l l e d C h r i s t i a n anarchists) were loose groupings around the modernist pastors L.A.  Bahler and N.J.C. Schermerhorn, and the writers F e l i x Orrt  and L. van Mierop. Their opposition to m i l i t a r i s m was  based on  r e l i g i o u s p r i n c i p l e s . In many ways they were followers of Tolstoy but they refused to c a l l themselves Tolstoyans  and would only  admit that they had s i m i l a r ideas. Like s o c i a l i s t s and they saw  anarchists  c a p i t a l i s m as the main source of wars and m i l i t a r i s m ,  but rejected the anarchist p o s i t i o n that i t might take a v i o l e n t r e v o l u t i o n to overthrow c a p i t a l i s t i c society. Only peaceful methods could be employed. I t was  that  standpoint  which created an immediate d i v i s i o n between the C h r i s t i a n and non-Christian  s o c i a l i s t s when i n 1904  the f i r s t  organization i n the Netherlands came i n t o being.  antimilitaristic  The International A n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c Society was  born as a  d i r e c t r e s u l t of the f i r s t Anarchist Congress held i n Amsterdam i n 1904,  but i n d i r e c t l y stemmed from the constant  e f f o r t s of  F. Domela Nieuwenhuis. His continual work to end m i l i t a r y i n s t i t u t i o n s had won effectiveness was  converts  i n the Netherlands but t h e i r  hampered by h i s i n s i s t a n c e that no anarchist  should enter any kind of permanent a s s o c i a t i o n . In 1904 condescended to the formation  of an organization l i m i t e d to  f i g h t i n g m i l i t a r i s m and the r e s u l t i n g S o c i e t y — t h e International was  he  " I " for  l a r g e l y i l l u s i o n a r y because i t was  really a  Dutch organization—was f o r 35 years a small but extremely active hearth of a n t i m i l i t a r i s m . The Society based i t s e l f on the c l a s s struggle theory therefore saw  a l l e x i s t i n g m i l i t a r y establishments  and  as the means  by which the bourgeois class maintained i t s e l f . Propaganda  was  the only weapon presently a v a i l a b l e . Personal r e f u s a l to serve, whether from e t h i c a l , r e l i g i o u s , or s o c i a l p r i n c i p l e s was recognized  and accepted as a v i a b l e method of opposition,  a motion to support such i n d i v i d u a l action was  defeated  but  because  the French and Bohemian representatives at the Congress voted 18 against i t .  The C h r i s t i a n - s o c i a l i s t s and anarchists l e f t  Congress because they objected  the  to the acceptance of violence  under c e r t a i n circumstances. Most of the 700 members i n 1905  and the 900  i n 1906  anarchists, s y n d i c a l i s t s , and free s o c i a l i s t s . The 19 membership remained f a i r l y constant u n t i l 1914.  were  Society's They con-  sidered f i g h t i n g m i l i t a r i s m as an important propaganda weapon for  t h e i r cause, as well as a necessity because the army was  32  used to break s t r i k e s and other a c t i v i t i e s used by the l i b e r tarian groups to weaken c a p i t a l i s t i c society. Of course  there  also existed a genuine d i s l i k e of war which would put worker against worker f o r the b e n e f i t of the bourgeoisie. Nieuwenhuis had already written i n 1901, "I favour c i v i l war over i n t e r national war because i n the former one f i g h t s f o r an idea, i n 20 the l a t t e r f o r the pleasure and b e n e f i t of others." E f f o r t s to spread propaganda among the s o l d i e r s was subs t a n t i a l considering the small membership of the Society. A Soldatenalmanak (Soldiers' Almanac) was p r i n t e d every year from 1906  to 1922 and the 5,000 to 10,000 copies were d i s t r i b u t e d  among the c o n s c r i p t s ; brochures  about various subjects, from  10,000 to 20,000 copies, were common while the o f f i c i a l monthly p u b l i c a t i o n De Wapens Neder (Down the Weapons) reached 6,000 to  7,000 people each month. A l l t h i s material was sold by less 21  than 1,000 people i n t h e i r spare time.  J u d i c i a l prosecution  because of c e r t a i n a r t i c l e s was frequent, j a i l sentences quite common, and p o l i c e harassment when hawking l i t e r a t u r e on the streets a constant problem. But the movement p e r s i s t e d and reached i t s height during and a f t e r the F i r s t World War. 3. The M i l i t a r y before 1914 All  the a c t i v i t i e s of the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s against Dutch  "militarism" appear exaggerated when the s i z e and influence of the Dutch m i l i t a r y are considered. There was no m i l i t a r y t r a d i t i o n to speak of. The g l o r i e s of Prince Maurice'  (largely  mercenary army) e x p l o i t s were too long ago and no s i g n i f i c a n t m i l i t a r y caste existed to give l u s t r e and importance to the army.  Whereas i n Germany the v i c t o r i e s of 1864, 1866, and 1870-1871 u n i f i e d the country and swept away the l a s t opposition to the m i l i t a r y , the only Dutch m i l i t a r y e x p l o i t s i n the century had been a disastrous expedition against (what became) Belgium i n 1830 and a desultory and c o s t l y c o l o n i a l skirmish against Atjeh. The Replacement Law enabled the more prosperous youths to stay out of m i l i t a r y service, so the army became a mottled group of poor and rather i l l - e q u i p p e d youths who had to serve f o r very l i t t l e money while being subjected to the many minor and major i r r i t a t i o n s of barrack l i f e . The i n i t i a l  service time was 8-1/2  months, which was too short to make s o l d i e r s out of c i v i l i a n s , while the few r e - t r a i n i n g periods i n the years thereafter were only a c o s t l y nuisance,  e s p e c i a l l y because they usually took  place i n the summer when work was more p l e n t i f u l and earnings a l i t t l e higher. The army was considered an object of squandered money by the majority of tax-payers,  a wasted year by  those conscripted, an e v i l i n s t i t u t i o n by mothers who feared the bad influence of barrack l i f e , a hearth of atheism by many Roman C a t h o l i c s , and the means by which the c a p i t a l i s t s maintained t h e i r power by the s o c i a l i s t s . Growing c r i t i c i s m of the army forced the government to examine the whole m i l i t a r y question. A b o l i t i o n of the Replacement Law was the f i r s t  step, but f o r the next f i f t e e n  years  under four m i n i s t r i e s and eight ministers of war the m i l i t a r y problem was constantly a matter of p o l i t i c a l c o n f l i c t and popular debate. A f t e r a s e r i e s of laws, resignations of ministers, demands f o r c l a r i f i c a t i o n by the Queen, and long  explanations  by prime ministers, the f i n a l settlement was achieved i n 1912 22 through the "Laws of C o l i j n " (the Minister of War).  34  Each year 23,000 youths would be conscripted of whom 600 went to the navy. Those i n the i n f a n t r y (by f a r the greatest number because i t was the cheapest) were to serve 8-1/2 months (the others a l i t t l e longer) with two r e - t r a i n i n g periods of no more than four and three weeks during the s i x m i l i t i a years. When these years were completed the men automatically became members of the Landweer which meant a s i x day t r a i n i n g period in one year and a one day equipment inspection i n each of the other four years. Thereafter the men were i n the Landstorm, which also encompassed a l l those who had been volunteers, had been i n the army i n Indonesia,  as well as those who had never  been i n the m i l i t a r y s e r v i c e . A l l these men, up to age 40, could be c a l l e d up i n case a second mobilization was necessary, but t h i s would only occur when the army (of the f i r s t  mobil-  i z a t i o n ) could not cope with the enemy. In theory there was a trained reserve and an untrained reserve i n the Landstorm, but considering the short i n i t i a l t r a i n i n g and the infrequent and short r e - t r a i n i n g periods thereafter, there was r e a l l y no hope that these men could ever be used to defend the country. The Netherlands i s so small that by the time i t was c l e a r that the men of the f i r s t mobilization could not cope with the enemy, i t was much too l a t e to c a l l up, l e t alone t r a i n , the men of the second m o b i l i z a t i o n . A l l i t meant was extra administration and a c e r t a i n f r u s t r a t i o n f o r the men who s t i l l knew themselves to be part of the army. The "standing army" of the Netherlands consisted of about 30,000 men, but 22,400 were r e a l l y r e c r u i t s . The "Laws of C o l i j n " were not viewed as a v i c t o r y f o r t h e i r cause by the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s , but i n c e r t a i n t^ays they were. Thanks i n part to the unwillingness of many parliamentarians  35  to spend much money on defence, the burden of the m i l i t a r y was rather l i g h t compared to the tremendous increase i n m i l i t a r y spending that was taking place i n v i r t u a l l y every European country. An annual d r a f t of 23,000 men out of a population of six m i l l i o n was hardly d r a s t i c . The short service time, and the provision that no one i n the m i l i t i a could be sent to the colonies without h i s own consent allowed f o r a quick return to c i v i l i a n l i f e . A large and i n f l u e n t i a l m i l i t a r y caste could not develop out of the e x i s t i n g structure. The few men i n the Netherlands who admired the German system and would have l i k e d to emulate the example d i d not have a chance to do so. A l l t h i s was not enough f o r the S o c i a l Democrats, however; they demanded a popular m i l i t i a on the Swiss model and continued to vote against the m i l i t a r y budget. The anarchists were even l e s s s a t i s f i e d because they wanted the a b o l i t i o n of a l l m i l i t a r y forces while the C h r i s t i a n - s o c i a l i s t s simply denounced everything connected with arms and violence. The war gave both those against and those i n favour of a m i l i t a r y establishment a chance to evaluate t h e i r ideas and allowed both to prepare f o r the r e a l struggle which started about  1919.  4. The Netherlands Anti War Council I n i t i a l reaction of the Dutch people to the events of J u l y 1914 was to r a l l y together i n support of the government to face a common enemy. The r a p i d i t y of events caught the Dutch, as well as every other nation i n Europe, by s u r p r i s e . There  was  never any doubt as to what p o s i t i o n the Netherlands should take; n e u t r a l i t y had been the o f f i c i a l government p o l i c y f o r many  36  decades. Fear of a p o s s i b l e German invasion, not wholly  un-  grounded, brought a unity to the people that had long been absent. Very few men  refused to heed the mobilization c a l l ,  and  the a n t i m i l i t a r i s t s were s i l e n t . T r o e l s t r a , leader of the S o c i a l Democrats, declared i n parliament be blamed f o r the present war,  agreed that the mobilization was  necessary, and promised support 23 government i n the future.  that the government could not  (with reservations) f o r the  The S o c i a l Democrats voted i n favour  of the f i f t y m i l l i o n guilders mobilization c r e d i t s even though--.i n a remarkable c o n t r a d i c t i o n — t h e y continued the regular defence expenditures  to vote against 24  as they had always done.  The p a c i f i s t s , a f t e r being stunned i n August because the whole e d i f i c e of i n t e r n a t i o n a l a r b i t r a t i o n had come crashing down, regained  t h e i r composure and sought ways and means of  bringing the war  to an end. Peace Through J u s t i c e , the Roman  Catholic peace society, the n a t i o n a l women's s o c i e t y and  other  groups, i n c l u d i n g the S o c i a l Democrats, agreed that a combined e f f o r t would be most e f f e c t i v e . By the end of September the Netherlands A n t i War NAOR) was  Council (Nederlandse A n t i Oorlogs Raad—  i n existence. I n i t i a l l y there were 33 persons on  the  Council but a year l a t e r the number had grown to 145 of whom 25 were Members of Parliament  representing three c l e r i c a l  p a r t i e s , two l i b e r a l p a r t i e s , and the S o c i a l Democrats. In January 1915 by 1918;  the NAOR had 8,527 i n d i v i d u a l members and 38,746  at t h i s time the number of organizations  to the NAOR t o t a l l e d 1,181.  25  belonging  37  Without h e s i t a t i o n the NAOR o r i g i n a t o r s decided  that past  differences ought to be forgotten, that membership would be denied no one,  and that the sole objective should be to study  ways and means to bring the war to an end. was  Initial  cooperation  good; S o c i a l Democrat Members of Parliament as well as  Schermerhorn, one of the o r i g i n a t o r s of the A n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c Society, joined the NAOR. But dissension returned q u i c k l y . The S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party asked i t s MPs who were i n a leadership r o l e within the NAOR to withdraw from those p o s i t i o n s . Henceforth Dutch S o c i a l i s t leaders concentrated  their efforts  for peace i n the International Bureau which r e s u l t e d i n the formation  of the Dutch-Scandinavian Committee and the Stock-  holm Conference.  The A n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c Society held a Congress 27  i n May 1915 and asked Schermerhorn to step out of the NAOR. The Society and s i m i l a r organizations saw the A n t i War Council as another Peace League or Peace Through J u s t i c e — o r g a n i z a t i o n s where various doctrines were expounded without committing the i n d i v i d u a l to anything. In a sense, the Society was c o r r e c t : the NAOR d i d l i t t l e more than propose a "Minimum Program" necessary f o r peace, and issued reports on excellent in-depth studies the Council undertook on such subjects as annexation, the problem of n a t i o n a l i t i e s , the freedom of the seas, etc. The Minimum Program necessary f o r a permanent peace retained some of the pre-war ideas such as peace conferences and compulsory a r b i t r a t i o n . Other points were new, and a few found themselves incorporated i n t o Wilson's Fourteen Points: there was to be no annexation without popular consent (to be determined through a p l e b i s c i t e ) ;  38  each state should give equal status, r e l i g i o u s freedom and language equality to a l l n a t i o n a l i t i e s within i t s borders; the freedom of the seas must be ensured; a l l parliaments  should  have a voice i n a l l foreign p o l i c y decisions; secret diplomacy 28 and t r e a t i e s must be abolished. E f f o r t s to bring the combatants to the conference table were unsuccessful;  the NAOR proved as unable to bring t h i s about as  any other group or country. A conference of neutral countries was organized  but d i d not achieve anything.  Connections were  laboriously established with the warring nations, both i n off i c i a l and n o n - o f f i c i a l c i r c l e s i n the hope that through persona l contact t a l k s could be s t a r t e d . This proved a vain hope. The Dutch government was asked to a c t as mediator, but refused. Peace came without the help of the NAOR; i n January 1919 the Council disbanded i t s e l f , as d i d Peace Through J u s t i c e . The members of both organizations decided  that a new society  ought to be formed. I t was to be c a l l e d the Association f o r the League of Nations and Peace and within i t s e l f embodied the l e g a l i s t i c pacifism of bourgeois society. 5. The S o c i a l Democratic Workers Party For both p o l i t i c a l and i d e o l o g i c a l reasons S o c i a l Democratic leaders had a d i f f i c u l t time convincing party members that support of the government's mobilization order was i n the best i n t e r e s t of the s o c i a l democrats. Many a r t i c l e s and publications 29 attacking or defending the o f f i c i a l p o s i t i o n appeared,  until  the matter was s e t t l e d a t the Arnhem Congress i n A p r i l 1915 by the acceptance of two r e s o l u t i o n s . The f i r s t declared  that  39  the Netherlands ought to remain neutral i n the present and must take a l l the necessary  conflict  steps to ensure t h i s ; the  second motion stated that the party would reconsider i t s p o s i tion regarding m i l i t a r i s m only a f t e r the present c o n f l i c t was 30 terminated.  The debate was vigorous and almost one-third of  the votes were a g a i n s t — a c l e a r i n d i c a t i o n that the party was of two minds concerning  t h i s matter.  It was d i f f i c u l t f o r the party leaders to convince  every-  one that no d r a s t i c change i n p o l i c y had taken place. For years the party had agitated f o r the replacement of the standing army by popular m i l i t i a s . The rank and f i l e had been used to reading the b i t i n g c r i t i q u e s of t h e i r m i l i t a r y expert i n p a r l i a 31 ment, K. ter Laan; the c r y "not a man or a cent f o r the 32 m i l i t a r y " had been heard frequently within party ranks;  the  party newspaper Het Volk (The People) had often p r i n t e d polemics  against the m i l i t a r y establishment,  e s p e c i a l l y when troops  were used as strikebreakers. I d e o l o g i c a l l y the party leaders did  not have a strong p o s i t i o n . At many congresses of the  Second International the Dutch had voted i n favour of a n t i m i l i t a r i s t i c r e s o l u t i o n s . Unlike t h e i r German counterparts, however, Dutch S o c i a l Democrats had never s t i p u l a t e d that they would f i g h t f o r t h e i r country i n a defensive war. Now that the whole i n t e r n a t i o n a l workers' s o l i d a r i t y had come crashing down and was replaced by the defence of national boundaries and bourgeois  governments, was i t r e a l l y necessary  to follow t h i s  example? The party leaders had answered i n the a f f i r m a t i v e and most of the rank and f i l e followed, but many were doubtful and t h e i r misgivings were fueled by the Extreme L e f t .  The small groups of anarchists, s y n d i c a l i s t s and f r e e s o c i a l i s t s were quite v i r u l e n t i n t h e i r opposition to the Dutch defence e f f o r t s . The war was  viewed as a c a p i t a l i s t i c under-  taking wherein the workers were slaughtered f o r the b e n e f i t of the possessor  c l a s s . I t was  therefore e s s e n t i a l to disrupt the  m i l i t a r y system as much as p o s s i b l e and considerable energy was expended on t h i s p r o j e c t . The Marxist S o c i a l Democratic Party thought the war  of no concern to the working c l a s s which should  withold a l l support. Those who  were drafted should t r y to sub-  v e r t the system from within. Some S o c i a l Democrats could sympathize with these ideas and they could also point out that not a l l s o c i a l i s t s had succumbed to nationalism and chauvinism. The Zimmerwald Conference showed that not a l l s o c i a l i s t s thought i t necessary to f i g h t