AMSTERDAM (Jan. 6)
A Dutch Jewish actor confessed to Belgian police Tuesday that his kidnapping by Dutch neo-Nazis in Brugge, Belgium last month was strictly theater.
Jules Croiset admitted that he fabricated his Dec. 4 story that two days earlier he had been seized by three Dutch fascist youths outside his hotel who held him captive for 18 hours in an abandoned factory in Charleroi.
According to his tale, he was handcuffed to a pipe and subjected to anti-Semitic abuse, but finally managed to escape.
Croiset had claimed he was kidnapped because of his role in preventing the staging of a purportedly anti-Semitic play by Werner Rainer Fassbinder at a theater in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.
The play, “Garbage, the City and Death, “aroused fierce emotions in Holland. Jewish protestors forced the cancellation of its premier performance on Nov. 18 and its sponsors, the Amsterdam Theatrical Academy, subsequently with drew the production.
Croiset’s confession stunned the Jewish community here, which had been deeply disturbed by an anti-Semitic backlash that developed after the play was withdrawn. The alleged kidnapping of Croiset had seemed to confirm their worst fears.
Now Jews fear that exposure of the kidnapping as a hoax means future complaints of anti-Semitism in Holland will not be taken seriously.
Belgian police said they were suspicious from the outset of Croiset’s story because of several inconsistencies and contradictions.
The actor was in Brussels Tuesday for a recital. Police approached him after the performance and escorted him to the central police station for questioning.
BROKE DOWN UNDER QUESTIONING
They said Croiset broke down under interrogation and admitted he had invented the kidnap story.
Croiset also confessed that he wrote several threatening letters which he signed “Netherlands Fascist Youth Organization” and mailed to himself and to several Jewish families in Holland.
In addition, Croiset admitted he was responsible for a fake bomb scare telephoned to the Rotterdam theater where a closed performance of Fassbinder’s play was given for representatives of the Jewish community and others to determine if it was anti-Semitic.
Croiset faces possible prosecution in Holland or Belgium for making false statements to the police.
His motives are unclear. Some say it was a publicity stunt that backfired. Others suggest the actor needs psychiatric treatment.