Remembrance of the Dead gets unsavoury German flavour


Remembrance of the Dead on 4 May is respected to commemorate all kinds of civilians and soldiers who died in WWII, Dutch or foreign, but since the 1960s it has also included other wars and major conflicts. And like last year, the controversies are starting up again.

The town of Bronckhorst, Gelderland, near the German border wanted to commemorate German soldiers buried in nearby Vorden last year, but the courts shot them down at the very last minute. However, the town has won its appeal and can celebrate as they see fit, providing it is done ‘with care’. They plan on having an alderman walk along the German graves to commemorate, well, Nazis.

I still believe that paying tribute to Nazis is blurring the lines between the good guys and the bad guys of WWII solely to provoke and get media attention. Younger generations, including myself, are not old enough to grasp the intensity and damage of war in Europe at that time, and to act like everybody was a victim today is extremely distasteful at the very least.

As well, much like the run of comments we had about good things the Nazis did and a neighbourhood built for Nazis in Heerlen, Limburg, sure it’s allowed to talk about anything in a free country including Hitler and Nazis, but we don’t have to approve of what Bronckhorst is doing.



  1. dersk says:

    Well, except it’s illegal to deny the Holocaust, right? That’s always struck me as wrong, as well as bad tactics.

    Personally I think it’s ok as long as it’s just Wehrmacht and not SS buried there – a lot of them were just poor slobs who got drafted as well. I don’t think anything is as simple as good guys vs bad guys. Was Piet Heijn a hero or a pirate?

  2. Orangemaster says:

    I don’t know if it is illegal to deny the Holocaust in NL, but every once in a while the Dutch media plays up certain segments of the population who would like to pretend the Holocaust was overrated. I personally think 22 million dead Russians at the hands of Stalin and co was a huge deal, but that the Holocaust has better PR.

    It probably is not simple at all especially in the Dutch border areas where many Dutch and Germans were family and got separated into bad and good.

  3. BM says:

    “They plan on having an alderman walk along the German graves to commemorate, well, Nazis.”

    The vast majority of Wehrmacht soldiers were conscripts (conscription being reintroduced in 1934). How do you know the political affiliation of those who were forced to fight?

  4. Orangemaster says:

    Hence the ‘well’.

    If it wasn’t a big deal, the town wouldn’t have gone to court over it.

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