The cabinet sees no reason to apologise for the Dutch government’s attitude to Jews during World War II, prime minister Mark Rutte said on Thursday in answer to questions from the anti-Islam party PVV.
The PVV said last week the current government should apologise for the way the regime in exile in London ignored the deportation of Jews during the war. Wilders was reacting to a newspaper article about a book on the official Dutch attitude to the Holocaust which was published last June.
In his answer, Rutte referred to the government’s standpoint in 2000 which led to then prime minister Wim Kok apologising for the cold reception Jews who survived the concentration camps were given on their return to the Netherlands.
However, there was no ‘broadly supported advice from the people involved or objective information’ that would merit a change in that position, Rutte said.
A government inquiry that year resulted in the cabinet allocating 680m guilders to compensate war victims, of which 400 million went to Jewish survivors.
Over 100,000 Dutch Jews were killed during World War II.
In the book Judging the Netherlands by Manfred Gerstenfeld, former minister Els Borst says she believes the response by the Dutch wartime government would have been tougher had the Nazis been deporting Catholics or Protestants.
Borst, who was involved in the reparation negotiations, said wartime prime minister Pieter Sjoerds Gerbrandy and queen Wilhelmina should have appealed from exile in London for Dutch people to do more to protect Jews, news agency AP reported.
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Dutch government should apologise for passive attitude
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