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Controvertial poem pulled from Dutch memorial (JERUSALEM POST) By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ, JPOST CORRESPONDENT 04/30/12)Source: http://www.jpost.com/JewishWorld/JewishNews/Article.aspx?id=267932 JERUSALEM POST JERUSALEM POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
THE HAGUE - The national commemoration committee of the Netherlands scrapped a controversial poem about Nazis from its program for its annual ceremony this week

The poem was seen to suggest Nazis deserved to be commemorated along with their victims

The homage to Dutch Nazis who died in WWII was to be paid in a poem written by the 15-year-old relative of a Dutch SS soldier who died in Germany´s eastern front. The Nationaal Comite 4 en 5 Mei planned to have the song read aloud on May 4 in Amsterdam at the main official commemoration ceremony

However, following a public outcry over the weekend, the committee announced it would scrap the text

"The national memorial day is too important to be overshadowed by the discussion the poem caused", the committee said in a press release "Commemorating the perpetrators was never the committee´s intention The committee regrets that the boy´s poem was used in a ping-pong exchange between grownups."

The boy´s poem, "Wrong Choice", speak 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 main Dutch memorial ceremony is held at the Dam Square and is attended by the Dutch army´s top brass, war veterans and the Queen of the Netherlands

Representatives of the Dutch Jewish community said they would not attend the ceremony if the poem is read

"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 Center for Information and Documentation on Israel. "According to the same logic, Adolf Eichmann could also be commemorated as victim one day."

In a letter addressed to the committee, Naftaniel called the poem´s inclusion in the program "an insult to all the real victims."

Nine Nooter, director of the Comite 4 Mei, said the poem should not be interpreted as a plea to commemorate Nazi Dutchmen. She added that the fallen SS solder had four brothers who fought in the war as partisans against the Nazis

"It´s a poem about the right and wrong choices taken inside one family," she said. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 04/30/12)


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