Remembrance Day row over German graves ends up in court

Jewish organisation Federatie Joods Nederland is going to court on Friday morning in an effort to stop the inclusion of 10 German soldiers in tonight’s Remembrance Day commemorations in the eastern town of Vorden, the Volkskrant reports.

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.
The organisers have now dropped part of the ceremony in which a local male voice choir would have sung Mozart’s O Sacred Bond of Friendship next to the German graves. Instead there will be a walk past for those who wish to.
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.
On May 4 the Netherlands remembers the dead of World War II and all subsequent military conflicts. May 5 (Liberation Day) the liberation of the Netherlands by Allied troops is celebrated.

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