Dutch captain Oguzhan Ozyakup struck in the fourth minute against an England team featuring three of his Arsenal club-mates but John Peacock's teenagers showed the spirit to fight back and deserved the late equaliser scored by Luke Garbutt.
Leeds full-back Garbutt, who is only 15, charged forward down the left, where he found himself unmarked with time to send a sweet left-footer fizzing across the turf into the far corner.
Goalscorers: Luke Garbutt (left), who bagged England's equaliser, holds off Holland scorer Oguzhan Oezyakup during the UEFA U17 European Championships in Germany
'I got it out of my feet and just thought: "Hit the target",' said Garbutt. 'Luckily it went in. The joy was unbelievable and quite surreal really. All the lads are buzzing. Obviously I was pleased with the gaffer saying I was starting. That was my first objective. To score was an added bonus.'
Boss Peacock was delighted too with the way his team showed the guts to recover from the early goal. England ought to have gone on to win it in the closing moments and should have been awarded a penalty when Jose Baxter was pulled back from behind as he shaped to shoot.
They finished the game well on top, a long way from their dreadful start when Ozyakup was allowed to drift into the penalty area untracked from central midfield and slide a cool side-foot finish in off the post.
Ozyakup, of Turkish descent, was nurtured through the ranks at AZ Alkmaar but was lured to Arsenal's Academy last year with a scholarship and the promise of a three-year professional contract when he is 17 in September.
Three is the magic number: Leeds youngster Luke Garbutt celebrates his equaliser
Holland went close to a second when England 'keeper Jed Steer spilled a shot and Jerry van Ewijk almost scrambled the rebound over the line. Steer recovered well, throwing himself bravely at Van Ewijk's feet to keep the ball out.
There were further scares during this wobbly opening spell when Luc Castaignos headed a simple chance over at back post and later dragged an effort wide but slowly Peacock's team clawed their way back into the game.
Arsenal's Jack Wilshere, playing at the tip of a midfield diamond, provided the spark. His little explosions of pace and energy caused the Dutch defence plenty of problems.
One one typical run, Wilshere burst into the penalty area, wriggled past a couple of defenders before side-stepping another with an outrageous dummy, only to see his low cross blocked.
This burst of skill seemed to wake up his team-mates and skipper John Bostock became more influential on the left.
Bostock thumped a powerful 20-yarder narrowly wide before Wilshere forced a flying save from Dutch 'keeper Gerrit Jan Ter Mate, then rattled a post with a curling free-kick.
Everton's Jose Baxter was thwarted by Ter Mate's boot just before half time and the 'keeper saved from Wilshere again after the break.
The second-half introduction of Jonjo Shelvey, who started on the bench after playing for Charlton in the final Championship game of the season on Sunday, gave England another boost.
Shelvey replaced Lateef Elford-Alliyu and was soon dictating the play. Garbutt, who is 16 later this month, drove in the deserved equaliser soon after.
Going Dutch: Holland keeper Gerrit Jan ter Mate claims a corner through a bunch of bodies
It was Garbutt's powerful defensive header which then launched the move which should have ended with an England penalty.
Baxter was through on goal when he was hauled back by the centre half but, remarkably, the Greek referee missed it and booked the England player for his protests. England were forced to settle for a point and now face hosts Germany on Saturday.
Peacock said: 'Losing the goal very early was a setback. They caused us problems in the first 20 minutes, particularly from their full-backs, but we changed and came back strong. We showed a lot of character to get something out of the game.
Smells like team spirit: England's teen stars mob Garbutt after the full-back levelled the clash with Holland
'We were in no doubt it was always going to be a tough first game against the Dutch. It was crucial not to lose it. The first thing we wanted was a good performance and, after the first 20 minutes, I think we achieved that. We've got something on the table. We will see whether it is enough.'ENGLAND (4-4-2): Steer (Norwich); Hurst (Portsmouth), Oshodi (Watford), Parkes (Leicester), Garbutt (Leeds); Baxter (Everton), Gardner (Aston Villa), Wilshere (Arsenal), Bostock (Spurs); Freeman (Arsenal), Elford-Alliyu (WBA).
Subs: Shelvey (Charlton) for Elford-Alliyu 62 mins, Tunnicliffe (Manchester United) for Bostock 72 mins, Afobe (Arsenal) for Freeman 79 mins.