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Religious Minorities and Resistance to Genocide: The Collective Rescue of Jews in the Netherlands during the Holocaust

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 March 2016

Cornell University and Northwestern University
Robert Braun is a Ph.D. student in Government at Cornell University and a Predoctoral Fellow in Sociology at Northwestern University. Please direct correspondence to Department of Sociology, Northwestern University, 1810 Chicago Avenue Evanston, IL 60208 or (


This article hypothesizes that minority groups are more likely to protect persecuted groups during episodes of mass killing. The author builds a geocoded dataset of Jewish evasion and church communities in the Netherlands during the Holocaust to test this hypothesis. Spatial regression models of 93 percent of all Dutch Jews demonstrate a robust and positive correlation between the proximity to minority churches and evasion. While proximity to Catholic churches increased evasion in dominantly Protestant regions, proximity to Protestant churches had the same effect in Catholic parts of the country. Municipality level fixed effects and the concentric dispersion of Catholicism from missionary hotbed Delft are exploited to disentangle the effect of religious minority groups from local level tolerance and other omitted variables. This suggests that it is the local configuration of civil society that produces collective networks of assistance to threatened neighbors.

Research Article
Copyright © American Political Science Association 2016 

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