BONN (Dec. 29)
Fifty years after the Netherlands was liberated from the yoke of Nazi occupation, Queen Beatrix this week broke the myth of a nation united in its resistance against the enemy.
In her Christmas address, the queen stated that resistance was not as widespread as some believed.
“The majority (of Dutch citizens) preferred to live on with the hope to survive,” she said.
But in an effort to balance her criticism, Queen Beatrix recalled the reign of terror that the German dictatorship employed to control the Dutch population, “making it difficult to distinguish between good and evil.”
She also used the opportunity of her addres to take a stand in an ongoing national debate.
She told her 15 million subjects that it was time for reconciliation with the Germans.
“After oppression comes liberation, but after liberation comes appeasement,” she said.
The Dutch government recently decided not to invite German officials to ceremonies next May marking the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II.
Germans stayed out of the ceremonies marking the 50th anniversary of D-day last June, when Allied forces invaded Europe and launched the final assault of the war.
However, German soldiers did parade in the traditional military parade on Bastille Day in Paris last July.