Germany Won’t Participate in Netherlands War Commemorations

Germany will not take part in Holland’s commemoration of its victims of World War II, to be held May 4, 1995, or in the May 5 ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945.

But Germany will be a part of a Dutch commemoration scheduled for May 8, 1945, which marks th 50th anniversary of the surrender of the German army.

The decisions regarding German participation in the three ceremonies – the subject of much debate here in recent weeks – were announced last Friday after a weekly Cabinet meeting by Dutch Premier Willem Kok.

Kok said the decision not to include Germany in the May 4 and 5 commemorations had been influenced in particular by the opposition of members of former Dutch resistance movements that operated against German occupying forces during the war.

Representatives of Holland’s Ashkenazic, Sephardic and Liberal congregations recently weighed into the debate with a statement saying that the Jewish community in Holland was not in favor of inviting Germany to next year’s commemorations.

“Emotionally our community has still a long way to go to commemorate the dark period of 1940 to 1945 jointly with Germans,” the statement said. “The wounds have by no means yet been healed.

“The fact that over 80 percent of the Jewish population was murdered is still vivid in the memory of the survivors and their children,” the community wrote.

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