“Go Dig A Hole In The Sand!”, is an insult Dutch people sometimes say to Germans. This basically means, “go kill yourself”, and dates all the way back to the end of World War II. That’s when German prisoners of war were used to dig up the hundreds of thousands of land mines buried on the beaches of Europe. The German POWs were not given any equipment other than long sticks and small shovels. The sticks were used to locate the mines and the shovels to dig the mines up.
The Allied soldiers guarding the Germans stayed far away, since every so often one of the mines would explode killing the German trying to disarm it.
The big mystery about the “Go dig a hole in the sand“ phrase is why do only the Dutch say it? The French, the Poles and the Belgians never yell “Go Dig A Hole In the Sand” at a German, even through the Germans also invaded those countries in World War II. What is it that has caused the Dutch dislike of Germans to be so much more intense than that of other countries also invaded by the Nazis? There are many theories for this. Perhaps it is because The Netherlands was one of the first countries the Nazis invaded and one of the last to be liberated. There is also the fact that after the Dutch resistance sabotaged a Nazi train shipment of weapons, the Germans stopped all food shipments into The Netherlands. Dutch civilians were at near starvation levels by the end of World War II.
Of course, some say that part of the Dutch continued hatred of the Germans is a secret self loathing and self-doubt about the actions of the Dutch during World War II. There was a small but active Dutch Nazi Party, whose members actually joined the German Army and fought alongside the Nazis. There were also Dutch woman who during the Nazi occupation were “horizontal collaborators”. That is, there were Dutch women who had sex with German soldiers.
The Dutch famously hid Anne Frank and her family in Amsterdam, but even today the question remains as to “who betrayed Anne Frank?” Did the Gestapo just happen to discover Anne Frank, or did a Dutch person turn her in? These are things the Dutch do not want to think about, and instead in their anger yell “Go dig a hole in the sand!” at young Germans who were born decades after World War II ended.
Old Dutch people who were actually alive in World War II think it is a disgrace that the “Go Dig A Hole In The Sand” expression still exists. They will reprimand anyone who dares use it. Having actually lived through the horrors of a war, the old people understand that hatred breeds hatred in a never-ending cycle. They say it is time for the Dutch themselves to dig a hole in the sand and bury their hatred of Germans forever.