Hirschfeld as a Scapegoat or Saint The discussions focus almost exclusively on Hirschfeld’s role during the German Occupation of the Netherlands. Why is there such an obsession with this brief part of Hirschfeld’s carreer as Secretary General during the German occupation? Why are De Keizer and van der Zwan so keen to expose him to public contempt, and De Bruin so determined to exonerate him of all blame? Why is not one of the discussants interested in the time he spent in Batavia as head of the Department for Economic Statistics at the Bank of Java; the vital role he played in developing the European Regeneration Program in 1947 and implementing it; his significance as a negotiator for the Netherlands with Indonesia in 1949? And how he performed as High Commissioner in Jakarta? Why is there not a single shred of interest for the 18 commissioner’s posts that he held between 1952 and 1961? Meindert Fennema argues that most historians are still locked in the resistance-collaboration mindset which makes a Gesinnungsethik of historiography. The lack of interest in economic issues is related to this.
This response is part of the discussion forum 'Dr. Max Hirschfeld. Man van het grote geld' (Meindert Fennema en Johan Rhijnsburger).