Wednesday 23 June 2021

Prominent Forum MP and senator slam ‘tasteless’ freedom poster

Wybren van Haga in parliament. Photo: Peter Hilz ANP/HH

A poster circulated by far right party Forum voor Democratie which linked World War II with the current anti-coronavirus measures has been criticized by two high profile party members.

Wybren van Haga, the party’s number two and main spokesman on coronavirus, told MPs on Thursday he felt the comparison was ‘not sensible for several reasons’.

‘It gives me an uneasy feeling and … gets in the way of the discussion,’ he said during a debate on the government’s coronavirus measures. ‘As far as I am concerned it is totally unnecessary to rip open these sorts of wounds.’

The poster used the official symbol of the Comite 4 en 5 Mei, which organises the annual commemorations for the end of WWII with the text ‘on May 5, we remember 75 years of freedom’ alongside the date 1945-2020, with a cross next to 2020.

The poster is signed by a variety of organisations including FvD and various coronavirus sceptic groups.

Earlier this week, Theo Hiddema, who currently represents the party in the senate, also criticized the poster, saying it was ‘stupid, really stupid’.

‘If you want to place the coronavirus measures in a broader perspective, don’t use the logo of the Mei 4 en 5 movement,’ he said. ‘And do not compare the suffering of the Jews to the discomforts of coronavirus.’

Logo

Intellectual property rights experts told the AD that the committee had a good case to take FvD to court for using the logo and for damaging its reputation.

The committee has not commented on that suggestion, but said earlier this week the poster was ‘extremely inappropriate’.

Forum leader Thierry Baudet described the critics as hypocrites. ‘For decades our opponents have been politicising the war to push mass immigration, European power fantasies and modern art,’ he said.

The poster is not the first time the FvD has compared the coronavirus measures with WWII. FvD parliamentarian Pepijn van Houwelingen has also likened the persecution of the Jews during the war to the quarantine requirement for people coming to the Netherlands from a high risk country.

Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl

The DutchNews.nl team would like to thank all the generous readers who have made a donation in recent weeks. Your financial support has helped us to expand our coverage of the coronavirus crisis into the evenings and weekends and make sure you are kept up to date with the latest developments.

DutchNews.nl has been free for 14 years, but without the financial backing of our readers, we would not be able to provide you with fair and accurate news and features about all things Dutch. Your contributions make this possible.

If you have not yet made a donation, but would like to, you can do so via Ideal, credit card or Paypal.