Luxembourg’s wartime leaders willingly cooperated with German Nazis in the persecution of Jews during the Holocaust, a government-commissioned study determined.
The report by a panel of historians led by Vincent Artuso of the University of Luxembourg was published on Tuesday, two years after it was commissioned by Jean-Claude Juncker, a former prime minister of the small, landlocked country situated on Belgium’s border with France and Germany.
“The Luxembourg administrations under occupation were not forced to participate in Nazi anti-Semitic persecution under threat,” the 190-page report said.
“They collaborated once they were invited to by the occupier and often fulfilled their task with diligence, zeal even — certain heads of the administration did not hesitate to take the initiative,” it said.
Luxembourg was neutral when Germany invaded in 1940, and was eventually annexed. There was a national uprising and a general strike after the annexation. Once that was suppressed, the Germans instituted mandatory conscription for men.
A discovery in 2013 by historian Denis Scuto of a list of 280 Jewish children transported to their deaths generated a public debate that prompted former prime minister Juncker to commission the study into local complicity during the Holocaust.
According to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, Luxembourg had 3,500 Jews before Germany invaded, of whom 1,945 were murdered in death camps and in the country itself. Only a few Jews returned after the war.