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May 4 organisers call for remembrance of war dead, not disputes

Friday 04 May 2012

The national committee which organises the annual Remembrance Day commemorations on Thursday called for an end to disputes which threaten to spoil the evening’s ceremonies.

The committee said it hoped the discussions will be replaced by a spirit of togetherness in remembering the dead in Amsterdam and at hundreds of other locations nationwide.

While there have always been differences of opinion about Remembrance Day, the common goal of ‘never again’ has allowed people to work together for the future, the committee said in a website statement.

‘By remembering all Dutch war victims, today, May 4 and tomorrow on May 5, we are taking joint responsibility for the future,’ the statement said.


Meanwhile, a court in Zutphen has given Jewish organisations and the town council in Vorden until 16.00 hours to end their dispute over 10 German war graves.

Jewish organisation Federatie Joods Nederland went to court earlier on Friday in an effort to stop the inclusion of 10 German soldiers in tonight's Remembrance Day commemorations in the eastern town.

The local May 4 committee decided to allow people to remember the dead German soldiers during the evening ceremony because '67 years after World War II the time is ripe'.


The German soldiers could have been victims like so many others because they were often forced to join up, committee chairman Bart Hartelman said.

Now Jewish groups are protesting and neo-Nazi groups are using social media websites to call for a large turnout.

Local mayor Henk Aalderink told the Volkskrant no flowers would be laid on the German graves. 'Perhaps we should have made it clearer this is about reconciliation, not remembering Nazis,' he said.


Last week, the organisers of the Amsterdam ceremony dropped a poetry reading by a 15-year-old boy after protests from Jewish groups who objected to the subject matter - the boy's uncle who joined the SS.

The Amsterdam ceremony includes the laying of wreaths by queen Beatrix and other officials. The official two-minutes silence takes place at 20.00 hours.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

While I can Understand the complaints from jewish organisations I think this is something the whole of Europe has to deal with!
I guess it's no surprise that neo-nazis will try to hijack this. That is (IMO) precisely the reason we have to open some sort of dialogue. I think we need closure on this!
The fact that more Dutch fought for the Nazis than any other occupied country has to be addressed.
Phil has made the point that failing to address the tough issues leaves them open for the extremists. I think this is one of those issues!

By Donaugh | 4 May 2012 3:34 PM

This is an insult.
Dutch patriots, militaries, resistance and civilians died to defend the Netherlands and protect the Dutch way of life.
How can the Dutch let the remembrance of these persons sacrifice be highjacked by any special interest group?
The sufferings due to the wars is equal for all mankind and does not belong to anybody.
To protest against a 15-year old boys poem due to something a relative did probably long before he was even born is beyond stupidity.
Wake up and be real, this is 2012, nobody has monopoly on the terrible sacrifices everybody experienced.

By thinker | 4 May 2012 5:00 PM

I notice the Dutch 2 minute silence commemerates the ending of the 2nd World War in May, as we in the U.K have our 2 minute silence on November 11, to commemerate the end of World War 1.

By AlMorr | 4 May 2012 10:12 PM

You Dutch should introduce a “slogan” for Remembrance Day like the British with the poppy. I suggest the tulip.

By Terence Hale | 5 May 2012 9:44 AM

During Warld war 2 Netherland was one of the big colaborators with the nazi regime
The largest amounr of volentiears for the Geraman SS came from Holand.
For the netherlander German occupation was a brothers one.
This is the reason why the murder of the jewish community in Holland was the most eficient in Europe.

By Gershon Levie | 5 May 2012 8:14 PM

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