Students active in the resistance

In 1940, students in Leiden and Delft went on strike to protest against the dismissal of their Jewish university teachers.

Many students were active in the resistance. To keep them in line, the Germans introduced a 'loyalty declaration' early in 1943.

Each student had to promise to refrain from taking any action against the occupiers. Whoever refused had to go to work in Germany.

Not sign the declaration
The illegal student consultation group called on students not to sign the declaration — and 86% did not sign. The universities were shut down. More than half of the students who had refused to sign went into hiding. They were to play an important role in the resistance.

A pamphlet from April 14th stated:
‘Until now, very few people in the cities have signed. Attempts may be made to increase their numbers by extending the period or changes to the declaration. Dutch students, be aware that such manoeuvring will not change the essence of the matter. (…) Our motto remains: a loyalty declaration will not be signed. (…) Find a hiding place…’