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Ban on commemorating German war dead goes to appeal

Thursday 31 May 2012

Bronckhorst town council is to appeal against a court ruling which banned officials from including German war graves in this year's Remembrance Day commemorations on May 4, Nos television reports.

Jewish lobby group Federatie Joods Nederland went to court to stop the mayor and other officials in the town of Vorden from walking past the graves of 10 German soldiers.

The court ruled it would be appropriate to remember the German war dead but not on May 4 and not at the same time as the victims of the Nazi regime.


The organisers of the local event had argued the time is now ripe for reconciliation. However, the FJN argued acknowledging the German war dead would be an 'injustice to all victims, both alive and dead'.

Now the local authority is to appeal against the decision, partly at the behest of the local council association and national mayors' association. They want clarity on how far courts can interfere with local authority affairs, Nos said. No date has yet been set for the appeal.

The FJN has also said it plans to tackle the situation on the Wadden Sea island of Schiermonnikoog, where the German national anthem is played during the Remembrance Day ceremony.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

My father lies in Bergen op Zoom war Cemetary killed in action 1 November 1944 in Flushing. Tell Bronckhorst town council that we lost our fathers so they and we could be free. To honour the German dead insults and takes away what the liberators did.

By Bill Harvey | 31 May 2012 3:41 PM

Has any one ever thought that perhaps these men were victims of the war too? Just a thought.

By Mandy | 31 May 2012 9:21 PM

Honoring ones war dead is fundamental. The German soldiers died serving their government during a time when the people thought their government was correct. This same type of war is being fought now in many Arabic countries by American soldiers for an equally wrong Government. Or Israeli soldiers doing worse things than the Germans ever did, to the Palestinian Children... and the world is silent. This is in todays time not 70 years ago.

By jon reid | 1 June 2012 3:11 AM

Honoring the war dead is not honoring the politics of the defeated government. The dead men in question were also victims of the war, doing what they were lawfully required to do. They have families, and they deserve remembrance. This is political correctness run wild, and gone mad.

By Matt Cusumano | 1 June 2012 3:56 AM

"Takes away what the liberators did" Explain that to Central and Eastern Europe post WWII (a war that was avoidable - however GB, US, and ethnic group desired), under Soviet occupation for nearly 50yrs.

By Big Joe | 1 June 2012 4:14 AM

Most soldiers are ordinary men pressed into service during a time of war. They should be honored equally, regardless of whether their side won or lost.

By Steve D. | 1 June 2012 4:32 AM

Bill, this is not about "honouring" but about commemorating. Both my grandfathers died in the war. They were just normal people and loved by their families. One died in action and the other one died when American bombers destroyed the town he lived in. Many innocent people died on both sides during that war.

By Rlaumann | 1 June 2012 7:25 AM

My great grandfather fought under the British flag before emigrating to Canada. He fondly recollected the Christmas Truce, when soldiers freed themselves of their orders-on-high and honoured one another as just soldiers. Common man to common man. This is a unifying core of understanding that benefits all of humanity. The censorship should be lifted.

By J. Baird | 1 June 2012 9:27 AM

I am sorry for the death of your father. But war only has casualties.
To find out what the liberators did, read Hastings' "All hell broke loose" or Hitchkock's "Liberation".

By BeBob | 1 June 2012 10:29 AM

I have seen Bergen op Zoom cemetery with my own father a few years ago - we toured almost all of the Canadian war cemeteries in Holland, Belgium and France. Is your father Canadian, Bill? There were quite a few soldiers of other nationalities too, of course, but mostly they are Canadian :)

By Stupid | 1 June 2012 10:39 AM

As a Pole I am completely outraged by the fact that the Germans should not be allowed to honor their war dead. The politicians sent these men to fight and die. So vent your anger at the Nazi regime, not the soldiers that did their duty. People need to get over it and stop being so damn sensitive.

By Bartek | 1 June 2012 3:28 PM

Many Germans lost their fathers too Bill. They may have been conscripted to fight on the wrong side, but then someone had to oppose the Bolsheviks or all of Europe would have been enslaved, and not just the east. You want a vilian to point a finger at? Point it at the evil of communism that was reponsible for both those evil wars.

By Bill Smithers | 1 June 2012 3:30 PM

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