Dutch remember Nazis who made ´wrong choice´ (JERUSALEM POST) By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 04/29/12)
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THE HAGUE – Dutch Nazis who died in World War II will be commemorated
this year alongside their victims, at the national memorial ceremony
The homage is to be paid in a poem written by the 15-year-old
relative of a Dutch SS soldier who died on Germany’s Eastern Front.
The boy’s poem, “Wrong Choice,” speaks of his great uncle,
who “sought to escape poverty and dreamed of a better life,”
but “chose the wrong army and wrong ideology.” He “needs to be
remembered too,” on May 4, Dutch Memorial Day, the poem states.
The boy who wrote the poem is scheduled to publicly read it on Dutch
Memorial Day at the Dam Square during a ceremony attended by the
Dutch army’s top brass, war veterans and members of the royal family
of the Netherlands.
Representatives of the Dutch Jewish community said they would not
attend the ceremony unless the national memorial committee, Nationaal
Comite 4 en 5 mei, scraps the poem.
“It is wholly inappropriate to compare the consequences of a wrong
choice with the death of partisans, Jews and other victims of the
Nazi regime,” said Ronny Naftaniel, director of the Hague-based
Center for Information and Documentation on Israel. “According to the
same logic, Adolf Eichmann could also be commemorated as victim one
In a letter addressed to the committee, Naftaniel called the poems
inclusion in the program “an insult to all the real victims.”
Nine Nooter, director of the Nationaal Comite 4 en 5 mei, said the
poem should not be interpreted as a plea to commemorate Nazi
Dutchmen. She added that the fallen SS soldier had four brothers who
fought as partisans against the Nazis.
“It’s a poem about the right and wrong choices taken inside one
family,” she said, adding that she did not intend to remove the poem
from the program. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/29/12)
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