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German wants to pay for stolen bike

Friday 10 April 2009

A German man who stole a bike in the town of Nijkerk at the end of World War II wants to compensate its owners, the Nederlands Dagblad reports on Friday.

The paper says the soldier took the bike when he was fleeing from the Canadian troops who helped liberate the Netherlands in 1945.

But he has now written to the local Catholic church saying he wants to pay the owner or his relations for the loss. Church officials are now trying to track down the original owner of the stolen bike, the paper says.

Thousands of Dutch bikes were stolen by escaping Germans at the end of the war.

At the end of last year, Dutch cardinal Ad Simonis was given a brand new bike by the bishop of Rottenburg-Stuttgart to replace one taken from his little sister in the last days of the war.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

That was a long time ago. I guess remorse and repayment is never too late. Nice article.

By sandra | 10 April 2009 1:00 PM

Feeling guilty about World War 2? I guess its never too late to make amends.

How about saying sorry about kidnapping millions from Africa and selling them as slaves and making their own country rich and prosperous.....oops, it wasn't the Germans who did that but the Dutch. Sorry!!!

By yugtrams | 10 April 2009 3:03 PM

Africas are still waiting and hoping for that no matter how many years it will take Dutch will never naver

By youtamer | 10 April 2009 4:49 PM

I am actually curious how the Dutch have "apologized" for that.

By Todd | 10 April 2009 5:24 PM

I agree with you that Africa has been looted by Europeans, and indeminty should be paid for Africa, but this one is a d/t story. Africa has been dominantly looted by governments not by individual Europeans. There were reasonable Europeans who had fought against their governments in defence of Africa. Some activists in UK fought hard for the liberty of Africa. Although UK was a colonizer, it doesn't mean that all UK citizens supported colonialism. The same is true for the Dutch.
I think this man is one of the finest persons our world has. He was remorsing for the last 65 years, and now he wants to compensate for his wrongful acts. I think our world misses these kinds of people. He is an exemplary man for you and me who have unable to say sorry for our friends even in words. So let's separate individual acts from government acts. Let's applaud the man, and encourage others to do the same.

By F | 10 April 2009 5:50 PM

If he felt so much remorse for a "bicycle" he stole, surely he wept for months and is doing all in his power to try to help do something for the devastation of killing 107,000 Dutch Jews! Sorry about a bike!,that's an insult.

By bet | 10 April 2009 10:37 PM

I work in Germany now, but when I was working in Holland a lot of Dutch people told me about the Germans stealing their bicycles during WW2. It caused people a lot of hardship, a Dutch person loosing a bike is like someone else loosing a leg......

By Giovanni | 11 April 2009 3:47 PM

Bet - You would do well to remember quite how readily the Dutch themselves gave up the Dutch Jews to the Nazi's. The collaboration of the Dutch with with the Nazi's and the way in which they 'rolled over' when the Germans invaded had no match in any other European country. It the true history of the Dutch but of course all they ever talk about is bicycles!

By DeepThroat | 13 April 2009 10:07 AM

I'm german in my late 30's ...as long the dutch get it right I don't want to be blamed for the german history!!!I'm not reponsible for it.

If old german and old dutch can sort things out great fine by me and I hope they will as long they are alive!!
I'm sick of the stero typing me and my country " the germans" I think germany has lot to offer this days we do the best we can to work together with other nations we are looking forward in the future....
If hypercrits (they are everyhere in the world) would have done more in there lifes they would not have a thinking in a box!!

By Minnie | 13 April 2009 3:04 PM

Well said Minnie. A bit of common sense is so rare in a debate such as this. I am English and whilst I recognise my countries dreadful history of colonialism and mass murder (India & Africa) I am not responsible for it. I will never forget it, but I will not be criticised personally for it just at the Germans who had nothing to do with their own countries past should not be.

By Deep Throat | 13 April 2009 6:31 PM

Deep throat, I wish what you wrote was not true but sadly it is.

By bet | 13 April 2009 10:00 PM

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