Wednesday, February 21, 2024
 
 

Netherlands issues first apology for WWII persecution of Jews

EPA/ANDRZEJ GRYGIEL POLAND OUT
A general view on the former Nazi-German concentration and death camp KL Auschwitz-Birkenau before ceremonies marking the 71st anniversary of the liberation of the former Nazi-German concentration and extermination camp KL Auschwitz-Birkenau, in Oswiecim, Poland, 27 January 2016. The biggest German Nazi death camp KL Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on 27 January 1945. Today the world commemorates its liberation by International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

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Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte apologized for the first time on behalf of the government for the persecution of Jews during World War II.
“Since the last survivors are still among us, I apologize today in the name of the government for what the authorities did at that time. Our government did not act as the guardian of justice and security”, Rutte said during a commemoration of the victims of the war on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz death camp.
“The bitter consequences of the drawing up of registers and of the expulsions have not been adequately recognized. Seventy-five years after Auschwitz, anti-Semitism is still among us. That’s exactly why we fully recognize what happened and say it out loud”, Rutte added.
The Dutch police and the national railways under Nazi occupation were widely involved in hunting down Jews and transporting them to concentration camps. Only 38,000  Of the 140,000 Jews living in the Netherlands survived the war. Until now, Dutch authorities have never recognized their role in the war.
Some six million Jews and millions of other ethnic minorities were brutally slaughtered during World War II. Hitler’s genocide wiped out two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population. Around 1.5 million of them were children.

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