The son of a Dutch couple that hid Jews from the Nazis is seeking the removal of his father’s name from a monument built on what used to be a Palestinian village.
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Erik Ader, whose father and mother, Bastiaan Jan and Johanna Ader, are believed by the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum to have helped at least 200 Jews during the Holocaust, made the plea in an interview published last week by the Dutch NOS public broadcaster. The article defined the monument as “abuse of Ader’s memory” because of Israel’s “ethnic cleansing.”
Erik Ader, a former ambassador of the Netherlands to Norway, said he “cannot ask his father,” who was executed by the Nazis in 1944, “what he thinks of how his name is connected to this injustice but it’s not difficult to guess, knowing what he stood for.”
Ader was referring to a Jewish National Fund monument honoring his father in a forest planted on the ruins of Bayt Nattif, a Palestinian village about 13 miles southwest of Jerusalem that was destroyed after it was captured by the Israel Defense Forces during Israel’s War of Independence.
According to the NOS article, Ader intends to donate trees for a forest that will be named after his father near a Palestinian village in the West Bank. He has traveled to the village to participate in the unveiling ceremony of a plaque honoring his father.
In a statement to NOS, the Jewish National Fund expressed its respect for the actions of Ader’s parents, adding that the monument was legally constructed on state-owned lands.