The Dutch celebrated the 75th anniversary of the end of the occupation on Tuesday, a day after King William remembered the victims of World War II and acknowledged that some “felt abandoned” by their great-grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina.
The Liberation Day celebrations were held online or were canceled due to restrictions imposed due to the pandemic.
The day before, in a deserted Dam Square, in the center of Amsterdam, and next to the wreaths of flowers in honor of the fallen, King William made an unusual reflection.
It was possibly the most important speech of his reign to date, because on the 75th anniversary of the war, he cast a hurt and critical look on his great-grandmother, Queen Wilhelmina, who spent the entire war in exile, in the United Kingdom.
Guillermo recalled that the Dutch Jews were annulled as citizens and then deported by the Nazi invaderBefore everyone’s eyes, to add the following: “They felt abandoned, little listened to and without sufficient support, even if it had only been a few words, even from London, by my great-grandmother, who remained firm and solid in her resistance. It is something that does not leave me ”.
It is the first time that a Dutch head of state has spoken at this ceremony, held since 1945, just four days after the liberation of the country by the allies.
According to historians, Queen Wilhelmina only mentioned the persecution of her fellow Jews three times in 31 speeches broadcast from London by Radio Orange, a radio program of the BBC’s European service, but controlled by the Dutch government in exile.
Although there was resistance in the Netherlands against the occupier and many of the resisters paid with their lives for it, the fact that the sovereign focused on liberation, and seemed to relegate the fate of the Jewish community, gives it added value to the words of his current successor.
Postwar myths were created around institutions such as the monarchy and Radio Orange itself, and when the numbers of Jews annihilated were clear: of 141,000 people 5,000 survived, indicates the archive of the Westerbork transit camp (in the east of the country) , It was already too late.
Guillermo’s speech this Monday was televised by the public network, and both the National Center for Human Rights, as well as the Central Jewish Platform, which represents the interests of the community, and parties such as the Christian Union (CU), partner of the Center-right coalition in power, agreed on the king’s courage “in recognizing the silence of our queen on the persecution of the Jews.”