‘Ich habe es nicht gewusst’ has no WWII association to me: Thierry Baudet

A still from the video
A still from the video

Forum voor Democratie leader Thierry Baudet has told a television programme he does not associate the German phrase ‘ich habe es nicht gewusst’ with World War II.

‘Ich habe es nicht gewusst, or ‘I did not know’ is widely used as a catch phrase to describe the response of Germans when questioned about the Holocaust after the war was over.

It was used in a short propaganda video about immigration made by a far-right women’s group and retweeted by Baudet, with Dutch subtitles, at the weekend.

‘I don’t have that association’, Baudet, who has a degree in history, twice told television show Goedemorgen Nederland when asked about the use of the phrase.

The phrase ‘Ich habe es gewusst’ (I did know) is also stamped over photos of Mark Rutte, Jesse Klaver and Rob Jetten which have been added to the end of the film. Baudet ignored questions about who had made the additions.

In the interview Baudet also said that comments made by him in an essay about a new book by French writer Michel Houellebecq had been taken out of context.

Baudet has come under fire for discussing the role of women in society, and appearing to blame the drive for equality with a lower birth rate and ‘the demographic decline of Europe’ in the critique.

He also suggests that both abortion and euthanasia are part of a cult of the individual. ‘In the Netherlands (where I live), suicide is facilitated to ensure that here, too, no constraints—such as the duty to care for your parents—are placed on the indi­vidual,’ Baudet said.

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