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.’


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.

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