Dutch Official Sorry for Honoring Nazis

A Netherlands church official apologized to a Jewish group for a memorial ceremony that commemorated Holocaust victims with soldiers who died fighting for Nazi Germany.

Rob Mutsaerts, a bishop from Den Bosch in the southern Netherlands, in a letter last week expressed his regret to the small Jewish organization JFN.

Mutsaerts apologized for a sermon delivered Oct. 20 in a church in nearby Geffen in which Pastor David van Dijk read out the names of German soldiers who died in Geffen during World War II along with the names of local Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust.

“You are shocked, and those are feelings we cannot change,” Mutsaerts wrote . “We would like to extend our apologies for the pain and sorrow that the naming of all the names has unintentionally caused to Jews.”

Van Dijk’s sermon was delivered after city officials canceled the planned unveiling of a monument in Geffen displaying the names of the German Wehrmacht soldiers along with the Holocaust victims. All the names were removed from the monument following protests by Jewish organizations and individuals.

A Dutch rabbi, Wim van Dijk, demanded that the names of his relatives be removed from the monument.

The pastor read the names jointly in church as a sign of “reconciliation” shortly after the unveiling of the monument without the names.

Written by


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Dutch Official Sorry for Honoring Nazis

Thank you!

This article has been sent!